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Re: Speed in giants and cursors

From: Jerzy Dyczkowski <jerzyd@poczta.ibb.waw.pl>

Maybe somebody can at least tell, if large theropods could kick forward
and upwards or tear prey with their hindlegs? If I remember right, the
famous fossil thropod-sauropod trackway shows animal doing two steps on
just one leg, presumably hitting the prey with the other leg.

Although a plausible idea, I'm not so sure kicking the hind end of a colossal sauropod would have been the most efficient way of taking it down. I've heard some suggestions that the apparent "skip" might have been due to the animal switching from a walking to a running gauge, and others saying it was a fault in the animal's step as it went to bite the fleeting sauropod.
Interestingly, I remember seeing a documentary in which Dr. Farlow said he didn't even think there was this sort of fault in the trackway at all. He mentioned something along the lines that if the persuing theropod had indeed "tripped" or whatnot, one would expect a large plume of mud and debris to have encased or surrounded the first track after the "skip." Apparently, this isn't so.

Jordan Mallon


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