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Re: New Tyrannosaurus paper



Hi, All!
    This talk of horses, tyrannosaurs and running brings a question into my
mind. For a long while, people have talked about research (I can't recall
_whose_, and don't have the paper - I don't have very much in the way of
primary literature in my personal library, yet another thing I'd like to do
something about one of these days) which showed that *Tyrannosaurus* would
suffer fatal damage if it fell while running, and suggested that it would
therefore be maladaptive for *Tyrannosaurus* to _run_. (muscle mass
notwithstanding)
    Horses _also_ frequently suffer fatal damage if they fall while running,
as far too many thorobred owners and jockeys have discovered. And yet horses
still run! In fact, they're _specialized_ for it. Giraffes, as someone
mentioned yesterday, also gallop at great speed, and if one ever fell, from
_that_ height, getting up and walking away would be unlikely, to say the
least.
    Thus my question - why would the likelihood of serious damage be any
more limiting to mega-theropods than it is to large, fast ungulates?
            Bruce


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: <vita0015@umn.edu>; <njpharris@aol.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 8:43 PM
Subject: Re: New Tyrannosaurus paper


<Snip>
>   Using Nick's (NJPharris@aol.com) bear, a bear will take a fall more
> easily than a horse, despite mass, as a result of it's lower center of
> mass, shorter stride, sturdier limbs, and relative flexibility compared to
> the cursorially adapted horse. Bears are not cursors ... they are quite
> graviportal, though they can vary their stance. I've seen footage of bears
> taking tumbles and falls after a hard run, and they take it easily, though
> exceptions occur. This is because bears can roll from a fall ... horses
> cannot without sustaining serious probable damage, relative to limb
design.