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Re: FW: 6th International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry (long)

>From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>

>23.3. Theropod agility?

Why did the author of this paper need to perform experiments to realise that
badly positioned dead weight would degrade a human's agility? Are we to
conclude that theropods' extremities were also dead weight, or would it be
safe to admit that their tails etc. were controllable and able to be used to
assist agility? Sorry to rant, it just got me mad for a minute!

Michael Lovejoy

>Contrary to recent media depictions, the agility of theropod dinosaurs
>may have been severely limited by the large rotational
>inertia of their horizontal trunks and tails. Bodies with mass
>distributed far from the axis of rotation have much greater rotational
>inertia than bodies with the same mass distributed close to the axis of
>rotation. In this study, we increased the rotational inertia
>about the vertical axis of human subjects by 9.2-fold, to match our
>estimate for theropods the size of humans, and measured the
>subjects' ability to turn.