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Re: Tyrannosaurs hunting sauropods (re to Pigdon)

Allen Hazen writes:

Dann Pigdon makes four points he thinks tell against the hypothesis that Tyrannosaurs were habitual sauropod-hunters. They all sound plausible to me, but to play devil's advocate I'll comment on his second:

One really big problem with biting down hard on a neck (or tail for that matter) would have been the presence of a dorsal frill of spikes. They've only really been identified in one type of diplodocid, but if such keratinous (ie. non-bony, hence less likely to be preserved) spikes were common amongst sauropods in general, then they would have been a serious deterant to biting down hard.

Comment: Yes, IF the Tyrannosaur was trying to bite down on the top of the neck. (The way small cats kill smaller prey.) What if the Tyrannosaur bit at the bottom of the neck, aiming to crush or destroy the windpipe (the way large cats attack large prey)?

That would require the tyrannosaur to be directly underneath, and to twist it's head upwards somehow. Not a very stable position for a stiff-jointed, multi-tonne biped.

For something with loose, mobile joints like a cat (and with long grappling forelimbs) such a thing is much easier.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://heretichides.soffiles.com