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RE: Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power
> From: ptnorton [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 6:37 PM
> To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power
> I'm wondering if the evolutionary increase in the jaw
> strength of tyrannosaurids is more a function of the adaptive
> response of the animal as a *system* to its environment,
> rather than just as some selective pressure acting on the
> jaws alone. For example, it seems to me that an adaptive
> shift in behavior, from snatching and manipulating small prey
> (as in *Guanlong vucaii*, in which the hands could do a
> large part of the work) to using the jaws to dispatch larger
> prey as quickly as possible (as in *T.
> rex*) would preferentially select for relatively smaller arms
> and relatively larger jaws. Animals are complex systems and
> need to be evaluated as such, more so than as a series of
> individual elements.
Well, of course, and I think everyone working on this would agree exactly
with that scenario.
But a biomechanical analysis must needs focus on one particular part of the
organism, and later be integrated into other comparable systems.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology
Building 237, Room 1117
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 USA