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Re: Evolution of tyrannosauroid bite power



On Tue, Jan 01, 2008 at 05:14:00PM -0500, ptnorton scripsit:
> 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 

I have some doubts about this.

We know for sure that whatever T. rex was doing with its forearms
damaged them.

While damage from direct dominance *competition* is common, damage from
display behaviour is not.  (And even in the case of dominance
competition, there's a lot of selection pressure against permanent
damage, presumably because no organism starts as the dominant bull
equivalent.)

I would suggest that making a claim of display behaviour commonly
leading to damage is a very strong claim, because this is an extremely
uncommon behaviour across tetrapoda.

-- Graydon