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RE: New Nature paper on Tyrannosaur Locomotion
An article on this is on the front page of the web version of the NY
Times (article at
I've always been a fan of slow theropods, but this seems almost too
slow. One reason for a slower speed would be the amount of damage
caused by a fall -- a huge risk for a high mass animal, even if the
probability of a fall were small. However, Tyrannosaurus was a biped.
It had to have enough agility to balance, and to correct its balance if
the ground shifted. Unless Tyrannosaurus was confined to plains, it
also had to have *some* ability to go up and down hills. That should
require more than a minimal amount of dexterity for a digitigrade biped.
A *really* slow theropod is almost harder to understand than a rocket
raptor. Then again, maybe grade and terrain really were important to
dinosaur behavior. [Wild speculation begins here] For example,
hadrosaurs with hoof-like feet on unequal front and hind legs look funny
on a plain. On the other hand (or foot) they'd probably be quite nimble
climbing a slope, particularly outracing a slow biped who was having
trouble keeping its balance.
The Vertebrate Notes at http://home.houston.rr.com/vnotes/index.html
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> On Behalf Of Richard W Travsky
> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 7:58 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: New Nature paper on Tyrannosaur Locomotion
> On Wed, 27 Feb 2002, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> > Yes, Tim Williams found me out...
> > In this week's Nature:
> > JOHN R. HUTCHINSON and MARIANO GARCIA (2002).
> _Tyrannosaurus_ was not
> > a fast runner. Nature 415: 1018 - 1021
> > and the News & Views:
> > ANDREW A. BIEWENER (2002). Walking with tyrannosaurs. Nature 415:
> > 972-973. [...]
> ABC News did a feature on this tonight (Wednesday the 27th).
> Their web site has a page on this, including a picture of the
> chicken comparision from Hutchinson's computer simulation.
A link for the video of this segment is also on this page.