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Re: Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power
I agree that we disagree and should probably just leave it alone, but my
points are worth restating lest they get lost in attempts at refutations
involving T. rex's complicity in building advanced civilizations.
Carcass lifting is a plausible alternative hypothesis to prey grappling as
an explanation for forelimb function in T. rex, given the strength
parameters so nicely described by Carpenter and Smith (2001). Carcass
lifting is biomechanically possible, consistent with behavioral science with
respect to the nearly ubiquitous presence of dominance display behavior in
animals and possibly explains just as well as prey-grappling the evidence
about pathologies observed in the arms of T. rex arms. Who the heck knows if
the arms were used for one of these purposes or another, or both, or for
that matter even for something else. I certainly don't. But both are
plausible based on current research (without making a "mockery of science"
by invoking extraterrestrials), and there are probably a number of other
plausible explanations as well. The premises in Carpenter and Smith (2001)
simply do not logically compel a conclusion of predatory behavior. They
allow it as a possibility, but they do not compel that conclusion. Other
functions for the forearms are possible given the same evidence, and we
should be open to them.