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Re: Fw: Sauropod Necks As Weapons

ashmidt wrote:
> Large lizards like Iquanas may be bad analogies to sauropods but as far as I
> know they are the only living vertebrates that use their tails in defense in
> this way, and from what I've seen the size of their tails means they often
> hit their target without even looking at them. (Wow that was a long
> sentence.)

Monitor lizards do the same thing, to great effect (Steve Urwin has been
wacked a few times on camera by angry monitors - resulting in a painful

> And I don't know if a sauropods brain was able to compute things like this
> it is possible they could have learned how to hit things in certain
> positions at certain distances much like how elephants don't know how to use
> their trunks for several years after they are born.  Or the ability to judge
> such distances could have been instinctually programmed into them.

Or they just swung away at random, trying to deter predators from
following instead of specifically targetting them. I wonder whether a
diplodocid could walk while swinging its tail, though?


Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/