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<was> RE: Big Dinosaur Print <now> unusual traces

At 9:01 AM -0600 3/22/01, King, Norm R wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From: itokawa@fit.ac.jp [mailto:itokawa@fit.ac.jp]
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2001 12:09 AM
To: Dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Big Dinosaur Print

T. Mike Keesey wrote, concerning traces of dragged tails:

 Neither Rob nor I are talking of a dinosaur so sick or injured
as to be unable to move.  After all, that is a trackway along
which the tail drag is seen.  Just, perhaps, an injured theropod
was involved.

It seems to me much more natural for paleontologists to accept that
dinosaurs exhibited different forms of walking.  If I remember correct-
ly, horses show about five or six different gaits (e.g., walking,
trotting, pacing, galloping, etc.) and even us humans, even though
we walk 90% of the time, can also run, hop, skip, and (most important-
ly) tip-toe on various occasions.

But how many gaits does one species of bird show?  And what do they do when
injured?  Do birds ever drag their tails when injured?  I seem to remember
seeing injured birds just kind of waddling along rather erratically.

I have observed three birds intentionally dragging their wings. They were crows and it was during the winter several years ago. They walked across the snow with the wing tips down, feathers spread open, and the wings spread slightly away from the body. The gait exhibited by them was somewhat erratic. The birds did not seem to be injured and took flight immediately when approached. I have never seen crows or any other bird do this since. I took a slide print of the traces but I have no idea where it is right now.

There is always the fake the predator out "I'm an injured ground nesting bird" to get you away from my nest, ploy as well.