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Re: Sauropod stamping?
Dave Edwards said:
"If a dino had too much weight up front (e.g. a Brachiosaur i.e.
because they're taller up front than in back) then the sheer weight would
probably prevent lifting the massive portion of the body (though there
shouldn't be a problem lifting the BACK end..."
In my opinion, this analysis is incorrect, because a vector diagram
suggests that with the longer front legs (as in Brachiosaurus), a
substantial component of the weight is shifted onto the shorter back legs.
Hard to understand? Simply have a friend help you carry a large heavy
chest, a piece of furniture, or even a barbell, up a stairway. First, be the
one who carries the upper end (you are now analogous to a Brachiosaurus'
front legs), and then switch to carrying the lower end. You will quickly
experience the fact that carrying the lower end (you are now analogous to
the Brachiosaurus' back legs) is much tougher, because a substantial portion
of the weight shifts onto the lower end.
However, precisely how much this partial weight shift onto the back legs
might help a Brachiosaurus lift its front legs off the ground in order to
browse higher up on tall trees, or, speculatively, in any mounting of a
female for copulation (if that's the way they did it), is likely more
complicated than a simple vector diagram will explain.
In Brachiosaurus, per se, however, we can be certain that there would be
a greater problem in lifting the back legs off the ground, than there would
be with the front legs, but the vector analysis still does not tell us
whether it actually did lift the front portion of the body off the ground.
My two bits worth,
"You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes in "The Boscombe Valley Mystery"