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Re: "Flight theory has legs"

Graydon (oak@uniserve.com) wrote:

<<<force limit; you can't apply more than will start shoving the
dromeosaur away from the prey.>>>

Jim Cunningham wrote:

<<Yes, you can.>>

<Ok, yes, there's the springing away phase.>

  Not involving the "initial physicial contact" phase. Reads like a
strategy card game....

<<Applying additional force will tear through the prey with more vigor,
just as it moves the predator away from the prey with more vigor.>>

<Not if the other two toes touch, and not if the claw rotates out of a
slicing angle and into a holding angle.>

  Especially if the other two toes touch. Of course, this is all one good
reason why jaguars can't get tapirs from above, they keep knocking the
tapirs away. [That was sarcasm.] A leap from above causes the prey to
collapse below it, but not force the predator away from the prey. The same
impetus will cause in a lateral or diagonal trajectory to carry the
predator with the prey, not "bouce off." Especially if the prey is of the
same relative mass as the prey.

<Well, if the predatory stroke with the feet is directed down, you have to
jump up to apply it to large prey.  (Small prey you're effectively
stepping on.)>

  The same slash "stroke" (arm or otherwise) will be just as efficient for
any given prey mass.

<This presumably starts with leaping and slashing, but you're better off
if you can extend the leap and pick _where_ to slash a little better. But
since your feet are off the ground, you have to use aerodynamic means to
add energy to get that 'hang time' in the leap.>

  Inertia. Falling causes inertia and potential energy to build. That is,
speed and time falling translates to kinetic force when the falling body
*stops* falling. This force transfers into the object that it hits when it
stops falling, like a game of marbles. Typically, the original falling
body must alter its direction to dissipate the remaining kinetic energy
and for struggling animals, this usually gets resolved with a jump "off"
after primary contact. At this point, both prey and predator are on the
ground, and the initial contact has resulted in a horrendous wound. Given
that the animals in question have large, powerful arms and many sharp
claws, it's easy to see an effective second stage attack as well.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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