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Re: Many, many thoughts & responses re: the Hutchinson-Garcia paper

"Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." wrote:

> Let's keep things in perspective: 5 m/s is still fast for a big animal, and
> that is BELOW the walk/run transition.  Incidentally (for thought
> experiment's sake), if a _T. rex_ of MOR 555's size could move at Fr = 3.8
> (the dimensionless "speed" of Day et al.'s Middle Jurassic tracksite), that
> would be 9.1 m/s.

So: Farlow, Robinson and Smith calculate that a safe speed for a T.rex
to avoid tripping would be around 35 KPH. These M.Jurassic prints also
seem to indicate a similar speed for a large theropod (9.1 m/s = 32.7
KPH). Suggestive, non?

> According to their model, _T. rex_ was not a fast *runner*.  This doesn't
> mean it was slow!  If MOR was doing 5 m/s, it could still probably catch
> most of the people on this list if it were chasing us!

Indeed. Elephants don't "run", but they can get up one hell of a speed.
Plus they are also susceptible to fatal tripping, yet that doesn't slow
them down much.

Lions and leopards are much slower than many of their prey. In fact,
ambush predators in general seem to be fairly robust creatures - not
unlike a certain large theropod? If you're not chasing down gazelles for
a living, why be an olympic sprinter?


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