Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2002
Subject: The One True King
I really did read the whole thread and he did (I swear) say I could send this
to the list (really). I think this is interesting and should be put on the list.
Hmmmmm...... Since my website was the instigator.... I guess I'm allowed to
make some comments.....
When I saw this Giganotosaurus
mount in person, it was very much apparent to me that Tyrannosaurus rex was, without a doubt,
much more powerful in many respects then that of Giganotosaurus. I mean..... there was absolutely no question
about it. Just the bones themselves tell the story. The jaws..... and the skull
in general..... is just..... well.... "thin" in Giganotosaurus. It's not robust in the
least bit. Why do we need "data"??? I think my pictures I have on my
website tell a compelling story all on their own. And never mind the teeth.
Tyrannosaurus rex dentation is the
definition of robust..... And to top it all off, it had the maxilla from hell.
Why need such strong teeth if they were just going to be ripped out
anyway???.... Answer: You have them because they are powered by a massive skull
and jaw that drives them right through bone like the railroad spikes they
teeth were used like the slicing blades they resemble.... They didn't need a
massive amount of power to drive them through flesh. Simple as that really.
The anterior pterygoideus muscle complex in Tyrannosaurus
rex was massive.... Let alone the size of the temporalis group which
passed downward and inserted in the mandibles inner opening. Giganotosaurus simply didn't have the bone
surface area to accommodate these muscle groups to the size extent seen in Tyrannosaurus rex. (I'll get to that
expanded look to the Giganotosaurus
skull later.) The most powerful muscle of the bunch had to be the jaw closing
pterygoideus posterior. It was HUGE
in Tyrannosaurus rex. When you
look at the attachments for these muscles on the roof of both skulls.... and
then look at where they wrap around and attach to the rear outside surface of
the mandible..... there really is no question about who had the nuclear
generator and who had the steam engine. And as for the neck?..... Forget about
it... With its broad transverse crest on top of the back of the braincase and
its strongly S curved neck... Tyrannosaurus
rex definitely was the bulldog of theropods.
But.... I have to say that the neural spines in Giganotosaurus also seem to brace one another.... and the
vertebra are still high right at the occiput. The muscles there need to go
somewhere... So it does look like the neck muscles of Giganotosaurus could have reached to
between the lacrimals of the skull. In fact, they could have went to about a
quarter of the way up in the rostral direction past the caudal end of the ant.
orbital actually.... It's all in the angle I suppose.
But then again.... something about how the skull was mounted has always
bothered me. It's low.... almost too low.... relative to the vertebrae. The
spines almost look too high to be right. I wasn't able to see the actual
atlas/axis complex, so I'm not sure what the story is.
But regardless, from what I was able to see from the cervicals themselves,
there is no doubt that Tyrannosaurus rex
was able to flex it's neck more. In Giganotosaurus,
they seem to have themselves linked together... one onto the other. This would
have given the neck strength, but this doesn't mean well muscled. This also
could have effected how the bite and pull method supposedly implemented by
these theropods was actually carried out. Giganotosaurus
might not have been able to wrench its head back with as much force as Tyrannosaurus rex could. The flexibility
to do so just wasn't there.
Sure, the neck of Giganotosaurus
could have had a buffalo type look to it..... but with the above babble about
the structure of the neck.... this doesn't equate to great biting force. Also,
there is another reason... The epaxial muscles of the dorsal vertebrae. They
would have had tendons. If they had enough height to them, these would have
helped support the head if the neck was as short as we see it here in this mount,
and if the head was in that orientation. In birds, the vertebrae from 3-4 up
easily hold up the ones from behind with ossified tendons... and this really
doesn't matter much. You have the same thing going on with the tails of
Ornithischians. But, there is no reason to have ossification. All you need to
have are overlapping tendons that would have formed a lattice network for hold
things up just like a bridge. As we know, it's easier to hold something hanging
then it is to hold it straight out. So, if the skull of Giganotosaurus hung
there like in that mount, it was actually held up, with both the neck and the
thoracic region playing a part in the endeavor.
As for the expanded skull...... I'm not sure if we know that it was expanded as
in that reconstruction... or if it's just an interpretation. I know that the
skull was pieced together. Now, if we are talking about how it is expanded
relative to other theropods, it does seem to be a bit far apart at the caudal
end. But, the head is also a bit too triangular in dorsal view, and it makes me
wonder if that is natural. All I can really tell is that the post-orbital
region to the occiput moves in a ventral direction and flares more as it does
then when compared to a lot of other theropods. It's a bit like allosaurs, but
more to an extreme.
When you get right down to it...... it's like a friend of mine says....... If a
guy comes into a bar... and he is 6ft 5inches and has no fat on him.... with a
65inch chest.... And then another guy comes in.... and he is 6ft 7inches
and has... a 45inch chest..... Which one do you call the sissy????
But of course... before selecting who is the sissy, I would first run a matrix
and then do a stress test... ::rolling eyes::
I don have
one comment. I had the pleasure of going to Mary Odano’s place (she makes casts
of both prehistoric and living skeletons) which held the last? (I think it was the
last) LA Dinosaur Club meeting. Coria and
Currie were there (along with Don Lessem who helped get Coria and the material
of Giganotosaurus to Mary) discussion the reconstructed skull of
Giganotosaurus. We where the first to see it! And the skull is accurate and it
was great seeing them explain it to us all. They also had a slide show and they
showed the first dentary fragment which is 10% bigger than reconstructed skull
(which is smaller). The slide had a ruler and we made the slide actual size and
we compared the other dentary to it, quite impressive to say the least.
Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171