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Re: How Did Giant Theropods Break Their Fall?



There's a restoration in the book Dinosaurs Past and
Present that shows a tyrannosaur knocking down a
hadrosaur.  If this is correct, then the prey would
break the fall.  

  

--- Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

> There was a documentary on the discovery channel (I
> think) not too long ago 
> about ostriches, I didn't see it, but my father did.
> From what he saw on the 
> show, ostriches can do some pretty amazing things.
> They talked about how 
> they can go from 40mph to a dead stop and
> immediately go the opposite 
> direction. I guess they can have some pretty nasty
> wipe outs without any 
> injuries. Unfortunately, this doesn't really apply
> to a T-rex or any other 
> giant theropod since an ostrich doesn't weigh 6
> tons.
> 
> My thoughts on a falling t-rex come from thinking
> about all the times I've 
> tripped and fallen. Unless both legs are taken out
> from under me, I usually 
> take one or two more steps forward, lowering my knee
> to the ground in the 
> process. Maybe I'm wrong, but would't a t-rex do the
> same? if it did, its 
> body would only be 2 or 3 feet from the ground
> before it actually fell.
> 
> 
> >From: "Simon M. Clabby" <dinowight@yahoo.co.uk>
> >To: simkoning@msn.com
> >Subject: Re: How Did Giant Theropods Break Their
> Fall?
> >Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 12:33:12 +0000 (GMT)
> >
> >And on the subject, how to ratites cope with a
> fall?
> >They have no long arms to break a fall, and they go
> at
> >quite considerable speeds.
> >
> >
> >--- Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:
> >
> > >   Hello everyone, I'm new here and this is may
> very
> > > first post.
> > >
> > >   The subject that currently interests me the
> most
> > > is the debate on whether
> > > or not short limbed, large theropods could
> survive a
> > > fall. The reason this
> > > interests me is due in part to the fact that I'm
> a
> > > martial arts instructor
> > > and breaking a fall is a big part of what I do.
> I
> > > know Farlow has stated in
> > > his work that a tyrannosaurus would likely die
> even
> > > if it fell at a stand
> > > still. I'm no physicist, but the idea that giant
> > > theropods would die so
> > > easily from a fall doesn't make sense when I
> > > consider their life style.
> > >
> > >   I know from actual fighting that most fights
> that
> > > involve any kind of
> > > grappling go to the ground, even when both
> fighters
> > > are trying to avoid
> > > doing so. When two people grapple, one usually
> loses
> > > his balance and falls,
> > > often pulling his opponent with him. Now unless
> ALL
> > > giant predators were
> > > scavengers, one would expect that these animals
> > > would fall quite often in
> > > the process of grappling with their prey. I say
> > > grappling because all
> > > theropods seemed to kill their prey by seizing
> them
> > > with their jaws and/or
> > > their claws. Giganotosaurus was larger than
> T-rex
> > > and tackled even larger
> > > prey. Giganotosaurus, even with its slashing
> teeth,
> > > would had to of locked
> > > its jaws into the flesh of its prey at least
> > > momentarily before tearing off
> > > a large chunk of skin and muscle. A sudden turn,
> or
> > > even a forceful bump
> > > from a 50-100 ton titanosaur could have knocked
> the
> > > giant beast to the
> > > ground. Since this is how giant theropods got
> their
> > > food, one would expect
> > > that they could survive a fall.
> > >
> > > So, how did giant theropods prevent injury while
> > > falling? My guess is that
> > > they didn't, every fall probably resulted in
> broken
> > > or fractured ribs, but I
> > > don't think it would always be life threatening.
> > > They find broken and healed
> > > bones on theropods all the time, is it possible
> that
> > > many of these were from
> > > falls? My question is how did they prevent
> serious
> > > injury or death? You
> > > might be surprised to know that extending your
> arms
> > > to break a fall is one
> > > of the easiest ways to break your arm and least
> > > effective way to break a
> > > fall. While falling backwards or to the side,
> > > martial artists do not extend
> > > their arms at all, instead they relax their
> bodies
> > > and spread the impact
> > > over a wide area, often by slapping the arms
> against
> > > the ground at the same
> > > time the body makes contact.  The only time the
> arms
> > > are used to break a
> > > fall is while falling forward. While doing a
> front
> > > breakfall, the arms are
> > > bent, not extended and the arms are used like a
> > > springboard. In every
> > > breakfall that martial artists use, the head is
> > > always elevated away from
> > > the ground during impact, this is to prevent
> head
> > > injuries.
> > >
> > > The following are my guesses as to how giant
> > > theropods may have responded to
> > > falls from different angles.
> > >
> > > Side Fall-  This would probably be the most
> damaging
> > > fall for a theropod
> > > since some of these animals would in effect be
> > > falling 10 feet to the
> > > ground. To minimize injury, I imagine they would
> > > spread the impact over as
> > > wide an area as possible. Most of the shock
> would
> > > probably be taken by the
> > > thigh and body, followed by the tail. The neck
> would
> > > likely be bent away
> > > from the ground, with the head elevated as much
> as
> > > possible to prevent it
> > > from slamming into the earth. The animal would
> > > probably instinctively expel
> > > the air from its lungs at the moment of impact
> to
> > > reduce the shock and avoid
> > > internal injury.
> > >
> > > Front Fall- I doubt this type of fall would
> cause
> > > any major injury since the
> > > animal is already in a horizontal position, with
> the
> > > pubic boot at most
> > > being 5 to 6 feet away from the ground. I
> imagine
> > > that if a T-rex stumbled
> > > while walking it would bend its knees while
> trying
> > > to regain balance, which
> > > would lower the pubic foot, knees and stomach
> even
> > > closer to the ground
> > > before impact, possibly only falling a few feet
> in
> > > the process. I think
> > > people forget that a t-rex is already horizontal
> and
> > > would not fall like a
> > > top heavy, upright human. I've always imagined
> that
> > > tyrannosaurs would land
> > > on their pubic foot and knees when falling, once
> > > again with the neck and
> > > head elevated away from the ground.
> > >
> > > Falling While Running- If a giant theropod fell
> > > while running, I imagine it
> 
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