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Re: New dinosaur paper: Ankylosaur tail club smacking
> This question suggests another more specific: what happens when the predator
> gets so close that the tail club 'knob' passes beyond the target, and
> contact is made instead by the 'handle'? Obviously it would be pretty
> strong, as a composite bundle of vertebrae, ossified tendons, muscles,
> ligaments and skin, but for some impacts it would surely be at risk of
> snapping when wrapped around a tyrannosaur tarsus (or whatever).
True, perhaps missing a targe this way may be dangerous for the ankylosaur...
Another thing, are there records of hits on other ankylosaurs? Hitting
other members of the same species or even other herbivorous
competition may be adventageous, overall when the resource is scarce.
Against large theropods, I suppose a better policy would be to raise
the tail of the tip well above the level of the ankylosaur body, to
put the tip at the level of the body of the predator. Can ankylosaurs
do so, or do their extensive dermal cover or intervertebral
articulations preclude this from happening?
If you are interested on something about turtles and want comparative
material, I know of a glyptodont tail blow study by Alexander et al.,
which is cited in this ankylosaur study, and can be freely downloaded.