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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.

  --Toby White

The Vertebrate Notes at http://home.houston.rr.com/vnotes/index.html
and http://www.dinodata.net
[moving soon!]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Richard W Travsky
> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 7:58 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> 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:
> _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.