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Re: Diplodocid duck-and-cover (and ankylosaurs)

The thought of the animal "reversing itself" brings to mind a *totally speculative* possibility. The picture that was posted makes me think of the tail being used as a decoy for the head--or at least drawing attention away from it. This is somewhat similar to those snakes (I can't remember the species) that have coloration on their "tail" that resembles the head. Could a similar thing be going on in ankylosaurs? What better way to distract attention from what looks like a tasty, bite-sized head and neck than with an equally interesting tail?

Again, this is totally speculation!

Andy Farke

From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> To: dinosaur@usc.edu Subject: Diplodocid duck-and-cover Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 06:52:43 +1000

If anyone's interested (a big "if"), I've roughed out a quick sketch of
Diplodocus in tail-lash mode, looking at the world as us Australian's do
(from down under, that is).

In effect the animal has reversed itself. With many dinosaurs
(especially theropods) the tail is simply a rather undynamic counter
balance for the business end of the body (usually the neck and head). If
Diplodocids adopted this defensive pose, then the neck would be acting
as counter weight, and the "business end" would be the lashing tail.

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