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Re: Tyrannosaurid Growth Spurts

Jaime Headden wrote:
> <It has been suggested that the giant birds of prey that inhabited New
> Zealand at the time humans settled there preyed on Moa's, and also on the
> early human settlers.>
>   The giant eagles of New Zealand -- related to the Harpy and Philipine
> Monkey-Eating Eagles -- were probably like other living eagles, in being
> largely solitary. Even pair bonded eagles don't hunt together for the most
> part, and two giant eagles swopping down on a single moa or human might
> get in one another's way.

I guess having the extra dimension reduces the need for co-operative hunting, 
which is why most birds of prey are solitary hunters.

> <There have been numerous studies of the locomotive abilities of adult T.
> rex, but have similar studies been done on juveniles or adolescents?>
>   A complete enough skeleton for a much smaller *Tyrannosaurus rex* are
> undescribed to date. Those in-prep specimens are being worked on right
> now, including "Tinker," but this information can be largely anticpated:
> juveniles for other large tyrannosaurids, incuding *Albertosaurus,*
> *Gorgosaurus,* and *Tarbosaurus* ARE known and have either been studied,
> or described, for the purpose of mass, at least. It is likely that
> *Tyrannosaurus* juveniles did not differ from the juveniles of other
> tyrannosaurids as much as the adults did, as is common among
> closely-related groups of birds, mammals, reptiles, etc.

Look forward to further studies in this area.  Locomotive abilities of 
juveniles are probably more important than adults if T rex
did not live long following maturity.  BTW, has Gorgosaurus been re-instated, I 
thought it was a synonym for Albertosaurus.

> <If T.rex used the bite and wait strategy evidenced by Ken Carpenters
> hadrosaur with the T.rex bite, that probably should have died from shock
> and infection with such a wound, they would only need to get close enough
> to bite the tail.>
>   I wouldn't say the hadrosaur specimen at the DMNS is evidence of a
> hunt-and-wait strategy, as the hadrosaur lived after the trauma to its
> tail was inflicted, and was healed. Mode of its death is so far unknown,
> but it survived the attack or contact that caused the damage to the tail.

I dare say the rex that bit a lump out of its tail expected it to die.  It must 
of been one tough hadrosaur.

> <Changing the subject slightly, and following the recent Archaeopteryx
> brain scan, T.rex has been the subject of CT scans that have been used to
> compare its olfactory abilities with vultures, but are there any other
> similarities between the T.rex and vulture brains?>
>   This HAS been done: Chris Brochu, a few years back, described a CT scan
> of the skull of Sue, but the olfactory bulbs are not so clearly seen as
> one would like, and the actual volume of the olfactory nerves themselves
> is incomplete. However, the really important issue may be the comparative
> study of olfactory bulbs to brain in OTHER animals. Especially since one
> of Horner's evidences has been to say that the olfactory region is so much
> larger than the optic region, despite the retention of a tennis-ball-sized
> eyeball, it could hardly see worth damn, but sure as hell it could smell.
> Other animals with a relative proportion of optic and olfactory
> specialization are unknown to date because the study sampling has NOT been
> done: this information is NOT given to the public, or described in the
> documentary "Valley of the T. rex," even though it is critical
> information. I'm hoping Horner is working on this, but fear someone else
> or a group may need to look into this data. Does a giant olfactory system
> mean you are a nose-first animal, not eye-first, and that you're a
> scavenger? Important questions that have not been answered, and are
> needed.

Yes, a large olfactory does not make T rex visually impaired.  I was interested 
in other attributes of the T.Rex brain compared to a
vulture, after all, vultures are not visually impaired despite having a large 
olfactory.  There seems to be selective use of
evidence for T rex.  There was a recent programme made by the BBC (to try and 
re-use some bits of WWD) called Warrior or Wimp.  In
this program the narrator said that Horner's analysis of the chewed Trike 
sacrum proved that it was not killed by T rex, although
Jack did not actually say this on camera.