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Re: Theropod limbs - how mobile?
300 LBS = ?150 Kgs. Impressive as that is in human terms, it is weak in
T.rex terms. T.rex's would weigh between four and eight tonnes (depending
on the estimate and the individual); when it moved or stood up we are
looking at many tonnes of force, not kilograms (or LBS). I can't see
T.rex's arms being used to hold a female during mating, they would be
ripped off. As for gripping carcasses, why? Why would it want to hold a
carcass to it's chest? Even if it did, it could only hold relatively small
chunks, because again, it's prey were also multi-tonne animals.
Is it possible that the heavy musculature on tyrannosaurid arms was simply
retained from ancestors, and didn't serve any function?
It is entirely possible that the reason why the arms were so powerful in the
first place, was because the area of the body that supported them were
powerfully muscled as well. Tyrannosaurid forelimbs are relatively
inflexible in the first place and I don't see why it could not use its mouth
(which would have been much stronger and the focus of action in
Tyrannosaurids) at carrying food. The mating idea is old but prehaps not as
unfeasible as it seems, they could be useful to position the animals between
consenting individuals, though they would be of limited use once things got
rough. However the fact that some Tyrannosaurid forelimbs do indeed show
injuries and damage such as tendon advulsion (my spelling is leaving me)
does indicate they could be using their forelimbs somehow, powerfully at
that. Unless we get to see some amazing documentry involving real life
Tyrannosaurids ("Big Tyrannosar Diary"???), we can never be sure.
I wonder if those tiny forelimbs could be used as display structures to
indicate interest or threat. Heck, I wonder if rexy could have used those
tiny two-fingered hands of his to show off obscene signs to other dinosaurs,
roaring at the same time "I'm the meanest @%$%#^!!! in this land! One more
smart-alek remark about my arms and I'll bite your head off!!!" But I
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