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Re: dinosaur hip mechanics (was Re: Big Dinosaur Print)



    Larry Febo asked: "How long was the tail drag fossil? Was it continuous?
Could it have been a result of the animal periodically resting on it`s tail
to survey it`s enviornment?"

    All the tail drags I know of in the track literature were continuous,
being consistent all along the exposed trackway.  This includes those from
the Connecticut valley, which  I described in an earlier posting, quoting
from the Richard Swann Lull publication.

    Likewise in the extensive trackway with tail drag in Arizona, which I
earlier described, and of which I have a movie.

    I would stress, however, that tail dragging is rare in the track record,
as recovered to date.

    Since it is Spring here in the norhern hemisphere, as my mind searches
for explanations, I might be half-way (and only half) persueded that tail
drag may have been some special adaptation by which some female dinosaurs
dropped the tail after mating (hence, after the first insemination), thereby
lessening the likelihood of secondary insemination (if preventing that had
some protective advantage).

    There are, of course, some modern animals (cats, for example) that have
a mechanism that tends to prevent secondary insemination.  I mention this
only because it shows that at least in some animals, prevention of further
penetratoin and insemination appears to be advantageous, and not to suggest
any direct anlalogy between ancient reptiles and modern mammals.

    Ray Stanford

"You know my method.  It is founded upon the observance of trifles."  --
Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery