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Re: Dino reputation 'is exaggerated'

--- don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

It is concensus that sauros had good reason to make
> their necks as light as possible. My hands-on
> experience only includes cows, deer, alligators,
> turtles, birds and rattlesnakes; however, I can
> report
> that mammalian skin can be _much_ tougher, relative
> to
> shear, than reptilian or bird skin. 

First, predator cannot hunt with high risk of injury.
Otherwise, after several hunts they will get injured
and die from starvation unable to hunt further.

In modern attacks of big predators, the prey tosses
predator and additionally tries to injure it.
Situation resembles a rodeo. In a few seconds predator
must let go or risks breaking bones. 

So modern predator or predators must weigh enough to
hold the prey still by their sheer weight while biting
(polar bears, canids) or strangling it (cats). 

I don't see why sauropod would move so slow that small
Velociraptor could hold and climb along on the body
safely. It was not a tortoise. It could walk, rear,
whip tail and wipe neck against the ground.

In modern times, 800-1000 kg animal (really big Gaur
or Cape Buffalo - neck thickness similar to cow - or
medium black rhino) is rarely attacked by 160kg tiger
or several 140kg lions. So I don't expect that 1000kg
Terontosaurus could be brought down by 20-40kg

Your second assumption is sauropod skin. From
paleontological data, at least some sauropods had skin
covered with bony pieces. I am unaware of precise
measurements, but heard that skin has to withstand
forces generated by moving body. It seems likely that
skin thickness scales up with size and big sauropod
had skin even thicker than crocodile or pig. Difficult
to penetrate for Velociraptor teeth.

So I think scenario of small velociraptor hunting by
clinging and biting large sauropod is extremely


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