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Re: Stegosaur display behavior (script question)
They are circling each other, head to tail, pausing to shake their tails at
This sounds improbable, since it puts the most vulnerable part of the animal
(the head) in direct proximity to the most lethal part of its opponent (the
tail). Putting oneself in such a position might be reasonable to speculate
as a possible submissive behavior, but not a dominance behavior. Two males
in a dominance display would likely position themselves to show off their
most dominat attribute most effectively while protecting their most
vulnerable assets. For Steg's, this would mean keeping the tail of your
opponent at a distance while keeping your colored plates in clear view.
Perhaps a bluffing charge at an opponent at an oblique angle with plates in
full display, followed by a quick retreat to a safe distance might make more
As the smaller male wanders off, he spots the pennants on the vehicles,
and interprets them -- tall, triangular, brightly colored -- as a
Reasonable enough to me.
As the lead characters get out of the way, he approaches the stalled
vehicle, and begins to circle it. Eventually, frustrated by an opponent
that is both smaller and duller than he is but who still refuses to give
way or engage in a display contest, he swings his tail at the vehicle.
Or, under my scenario, he bluff charges it several times, honking (or
whatever they did) and kicking up dust, each time coming closer and
generally scaring the bejeezus out of the occupants. In the end, when it
doesn't respond, he hammers the hummer appropriately.
Then again, who the heck knows?