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Re: New dinosaur from South America
What about Tyrannosaurus? It's not much smaller than the Argentineans, and
all of it's prey (hadrosaurs, ceratopsians, etc) were smaller than it,
right? Probably no sauropods around, at least that we know of. So why did
it get so big?
Some day, we'll all live in a paleontological utopia where no one will
_ever_ use the wholly ambiguous, entirely frivolous words "big," "bigger,"
"biggest," "small," "smaller," and "smallest"...
By what standards do you mean _Tyrannosaurus_ was "bigger" than all its
potential prey? Hip height? If so, then yes, _Tyrannosaurus_ was _taller_
than contemporaneous ceratopsians, and most (but not all) hadrosaurs. Do
you mean by weight? Then no: most (of the larger) ceratopsians and
hadrosaurs were probably in the same general weight category as
_Tyrannosaurus_. Do you mean length? Again, ceratopsians were shorter, but
hadrosaurs were more or less equivalent. But so what? You canNOT compare
the bauplan of the average ceratopsian and the average tyrannosaurid and
simply say one was "bigger." Why did tyrannosaurids get "big?" Frankly, if
you look at the stocky, powerful build of the average large ceratopsian, if
I were the predator, then I'd want to be pretty big and powerful, too, to
tackle it! And, despite the "Jurassic Park" syndrome, I'd want to be a
pretty big predator to tackle a large hadrosaur, too, instead of a small,
"velociraptor-like" theropod, even in a pack.
Sorry to sound so annoyed, but I for one am very tired of the "big"
issue. Kids always ask me "What was the biggest dinosaur?" and I always
answer "That depends on what you mean by big!"
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Jerry D. Harris
Fossil Preparation Lab
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Phone: (505) 841-2809
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