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Re: Stegosaur display behavior (script question)

They are circling each other, head to tail, pausing to shake their tails at each other.

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 sense.

As the smaller male wanders off, he spots the pennants on the vehicles, and interprets them -- tall, triangular, brightly colored -- as a challenge.

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?