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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,
For something with loose, mobile joints like a cat (and with long grappling
forelimbs) such a thing is much easier.
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com