[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Bakker & whiptails - jog my memory please!

I`m inclined to agree with you here Matt for all the reasons you
mention,...(a tail is not a dead piece of leather!) Reminds me of stories
I`ve heard in my youth (quite awhile ago!) about snakes out west being able
to crack their tails like a whip (at least as witnessed by one "Pecos Bill"
-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Bonnan <mbonnan@hotmail.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000 10:15 AM
Subject: RE: Bakker & whiptails - jog my memory please!

>One of my questions regarding the supersonic sauropod tails regards the
>fraying you see in a bullwhip.  The tip of a bullwhip travels so fast it
>breaks the sound barrier, true, but because it cracks so fast, the ends of
>the whip eventually begin to fray.  Not only that, but a bullwhip is a
>continuous piece of material.
>In contrast, a sauropod tail is made up of many separate, finger-sized
>verts.  If these separate verts were "cracked" at supersonic speeds, were
>they capable of holding up?  In other words, whips fray and break over
>especially the tips.  What would happen to sauropod tails?  What of the
>blood vessels, especially the delicate capillaries that must have run to
>tail verts?  Seems to me the tail could be an effective weapon without
>having to travel supersonically.  Many reptiles smack predators and prey
>with their tails, leaving nice welts or worse, and none of these guys is
>doing it supersonically.  Of course, without the supersonic speed you don't
>get the cracking noise Nathan and Currie suggested.
>Any thoughts?
>Matt Bonnan
>Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
>Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at