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Acrocanthosaurus locomotion

    While we're on the subject of Acrocanthosaurus locomotion, I notice that
ISBN 0-9636765-0-4 (a for-general-consumption booklet prepared by list
member James O. Farlow, Ph.D., for publication in 1993 by the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas), the author says, "While one cannot
say with certainty which meat-eater made the footprints of the Paluxy River
valley, a likely candidate is Acrocanthosaurus, an allosaur whose skeletal
remains are known from Early Cretaceous sites in Oklahoma and Texas."

    If that very reasonably cautious attribution is correct, the Paluxy
River valley theropod trackways might be a good place to attempt to evaluate
and contrast Acrocanthosaurus speed(s) as calculated using more traditional
methods as applied to trackways, with those recently calculated for T. rex
without using trackway evidence.  Of course, it wouldn't prove anything, but
a comparison might be interesting for the two animals whose sizes are
reasonably constrained.  The largest theropod trackway there in Texas
certainly provides a pretty good indicator of overall size and approximate
weight of the trackmaker.

    I know some attempts at a speed calculation for the large Texas theropod
trackmaker(s) have been attempted, but I'd just like to see some further
work done in context and light of John Hutchinson's work, contrasting the
traditionally derived approximate speeds based on trackways with those
limits derived for Acrocanthosaurus using Hutchinson's methods.  I'm not
personally able to handle the mathematics, but would enjoy hearing of
results someone else might get and care to share.

    Ray Stanford

"You know my method.  It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jordan Mallon" <j_mallon@hotmail.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 04, 2002 6:39 PM
Subject: RE: Acrocanthosaurus atokensis locomotion

I wrote:

>Weren't the Texas trackways in Farlow's 1981 analysis attributable to
>The ref:
>Farlow, J. O.  1981.  Estimates of dinosaur speeds from a new trackway
> >site in Texas.  Nature 294: 747-748.

Correction: I double checked this today, and as it turns out, Farlow makes
no mention as to what might have made those tracks.  Speed estimates in this
paper range from 1.8 - 12.1 m/s, using Alexander's old equation.
Just clearing up any confusion.

Jordan Mallon


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