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Re: Big Dinosaur Prints Found

From: "Ray Stanford" <dinotracker@earthlink.net>
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 2:54 PM

> I proposed injury from conflict with
> another theropod, and it seems rather unlikely that an attacking theropod
> would lower its head (a potentially dangerous mistake with the other
> theropod biting in combat) to bite the distal end of the tail.  Why not
> to bite higher up, where it would have more tactical value and be a safer
> move?

Why is that? I thought theropod tails were normally held approximately
horizontally, so the tip was at a fairly similar height to the base? Even if
the tip was lower in larger theropods, I presume it's not dragging on the
ground or we wouldn't be having this discussion, so I can imagine a slew of
scenarios where the latter half of the tail might present itself to a
suitable set of jaws for biting. For that matter, who says the biter and the
bitee are even on level ground together?

Anyway, the point is to suggest that no matter where an injury or
abnormality occurred on the tail, it could result in at least some portion
of the tail touching the ground and hence create an atypical taildrag. The
croc / lizard angle is only to point out that animals with bitable tails
often receive injuries that are capable of altering their tracks.