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Re: Diplodocid duck-and-cover techniques



Nathan Myhrvold wrote:
> 
> 
> Finally, it is not clear why adults would need any defense mechanism other
> than their size and the use of their legs (including the forelimbs that had
> a large thumspike).  What defense mechanism do elephants have?  None other
> than bulk, but it works for them.

There's a little something called "the tusk". Have you seen the footage
of a circus elephant attacking humans in the US? Although it had been
de-tusked, it still knelt down and rammed its lower head into the prone
person. If it had still had its tusks, the person would have been
skewered (they died anyway). Plus, I believe more recently a British
tourist was killed by a performing elephant somewhere in Asia, dying of
massive tusk-inflicted infuries.

Personally I don't think elephants are a good model for sauropod
defence. There were predators around during the Mesozoic that could have
made short work of an elephant, and hence a young sauropod. Elephant
evolution has not had to cope with multi-tonne theropods. Perhaps adult
sauropod defence was geared towards protection of the young rather than
themselves.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS Archaeologist           http://dannsdinosaurs.terrashare.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/
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