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Re: Vestigial Arms (was: Theropod limbs - how mobile?)



 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 12:49 AM
Subject: Re: Vestigial Arms (was: Theropod limbs - how mobile?)
 
[...]
Sorry if I seem to be labouring this point, but I'm still having trouble with it. While I'm not disputing that it is physically possible, why is it better to do this rather than deliver a big bite and back off?
It may not be, but I think the effectivity of this big bite depends on where it is placed. When the tyrannosaur only gets hold of the end of the tail, a big bite in this place isn't good for much. Holding it and biting again elsewhere could secure a meal...
As I understand it, theropods can't take falls and knocks the way for example big cats can.
I think this depends on the weight estimates... with the same bones, a 4 t tyrannosaur could take much more than a 7 t tyrannosaur. Now we need to get the weight figured out...
So why risk grappling with prey about as heavy as they were?
Actually, what can the prey do if the tyrannosaur comes from a side? Dinosaurs can't kick sideways, and at least hadrosaurs apparently had too stiff vertebral columns to kick with their forelegs. All it can do, if I haven't forgot something, is to run away (and if it's a ceratopsian, to turn around then and to counterattack). Therefore all the tyrannosaur needs to do is to prevent this. Right?