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RE: Bakker & whiptails - jog my memory please!
Ray et al:
Back at DinoFest 1998 - Nathan's talk was well-attended and well-received,
as far as I could tell. Not only did he describe that the sauropods could
easily move the tips of their tails fast enough to produce a sonic boom
(just like a whip-crack) and that the sound would be in the 200+ decibel
range (Jet engines produce over 140 decibels when you are right next to
them); but he also demonstrated by cracking a bullwhip he brought with him.
Very effective. (I was there, not at Ray's talk). The idea was that the
sound was the weapon, not the tail itself.
There was also an article in Discover magazine about this. (It may have
been Nov. 1998).
I'm still wondering about the publication of DinoFest 1998. (1996 was
published in 1998 - just to confuse the issue).
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 8:43 PM
To: ALDINO1@aol.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: Bakker & whiptails - jog my memory please!
>Can any of you recall that popular article by Robert Bakker that appeared a
few years ago where he introduced readers to his concept of sauropods using
their tails defensively as bullwhips. (At least I think it was BAkker who
wrote this. If not, who wass it then?)
>Do any of you recall the article I am only vaguely recalling? If you do
you slip me the magazine reference citation so I can track it down again?
(You can reply to me instead of the group.)<
In addition to the reference in Bakker's book (just referenced on-list
by Garrison Hilliard) list member Nathan P. Myhrvold and co-author Philip J.
Currie, presented a scientific paper that might be of interest in that
context (or independently), entitled: SUPERSONIC SAUROPODS? TAIL DYNAMICS
IN THE DIPLODOCIDS. It was delivered at Dinofest '98 in Philadelphia. The
abstract for that paper was published in THE >DINOFEST< SYMPOSIUM, the
publication of abstracts from the symposium's papers.
I am not sure whether the actual paper has been published in the planned
proceedings of that 1998 symposium, which I have heard might be available at
DINOFEST 2000, in Chicago. Does anyone of you out there in dinolist land
know whether the proceedings are ready or will be ready for the Chicago
Still better, if Nathan Myhrvold is reading this, I wonder if he could
report on the availability of that paper, or of any subsequent versions or
extrapolations therefrom, which might be accessible.
The >DINOFEST<, '98 paper referenced, discussed the possibility that at
least some Sauropods might have snapped their whip-like tails in such a way
as to produce a super-sonic bang (snap, pop, or whatever) that might have
been used for defense, communication, intraspecific rivalry, or even in
courtship. Unfortunately, I missed that interesting talk, so know only what
I have read in the abstract.