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Re: New Tyrannosaurus paper






From: "Bruce E Shillinglaw" <SHILLINGLAWB@prodigy.net>
Reply-To: SHILLINGLAWB@prodigy.net
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: New Tyrannosaurus paper
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 19:17:34 -0500

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

Agreeded, there are a lot of examples one can draw from nature to see how this line of argument, while valid, holds little water in determining behaviour. If a falcon were just a second slow in pulling out of a dive, the resulting collision with the ground would be quite fatal indeed, mountain goats live their entire lives on slopes in which a single error in step would cause death... the list goes on. I suppose it can be argued that it would be maladative for humans to be able to talk while eating or get into our cars and drive as these would cause death in the even of an accident. Somehow despite the odds, life finds a way...


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