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Re: Dinosaur papers in the latest Nature



> Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 17:30:06 -0500
> From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>
>
> Rayfield et al. used the industrial design technique of finite
> element analysis (FEA) to reconstruct the loading forces and
> stresses and so forth in the skull of Big Al [...]  They suggest
> that Big Al employed a high impact bite of great speed rather than a
> prolonged grapple (as might be found in the crushing bite of tyrant
> dinos).

        "Unencumbered with facts as I am, I will comment"
                -- Drew Larson in alt.folklore.computers,
                        now the official Usenet Motto.

OK, I appreciate that I am working in the dark here, but I just can't
see this working.  Basically, it's much more difficult to produce a
large force by impact (when you've got nothing to push against but the
animal you're biting) than in a conventional scissors-type bite, where
each jaw opposes the other.  I hope that the paper covers this and
does the calculations -- if anyone with access would care to
summarise, it would be much appreciated.

BTW., the full text of Erickson's comments can be found at
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v409/n6823/full/409987a0_fs.html
but the original article doesn't seem to be online.

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor -- <mirk@mail.org> -- http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/
)_v__/\  "You question the worthiness of my code?  I should kill you
         where you stand!" -- Klingon Programming Mantra