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Re: Diplodocus: Return to the Swamps????

--- On Sun, 12/13/09, Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > All the large sauropods would have done great in
> swamps -- good temp control, *safety from 
> giant
> > theropods*, all-in-all a real R&R zone for the big
> ones. 

> I'm afraid I beg to differ. I would imagine that the wide
> spreading feet of theropods would have 
> been *better* for navigating swampy terrain than the
> compact (especially fore-) feet of sauropods.

Wrong. Mud that a theropod would sink up to it's crotch in would render it 
nearly immobile, and quickly stomped flat as a fritter by the longer legged 
sauropod. You seem to miss the reality of a swamp; sooner or later you _sink 
in_ no matter how 'spready' your feet are. At which point, 'spready' feet are a 
serious _disadvantage_. Swamps often have sharp sticks, logs, even rocks that 
can function as impalers or entanglers. If the area has a bottom you can reach, 
you WANT compact feet that slide easily to it, and then _retract_ easily.

> Theropods probably also had less density than sauropods,
> never mind the fact that they usually 
> had less mass in an absolute sense. 

And less power...

> Being bipeds, theropods
> would also have had a much better 
> sense of balance than (often top-heavy) sauropods - which
> can come in handy on slippery terrain.

1) there is no evidence concerning balance. They certainly would need it, 
granted, bipeds being inherently less stable than quads. Try it, is all I can 
tell you. DON'T USE YOUR HANDS. The first time you have your weight on a foot 
in mud 1' deep, and shift your weight the other foot, and then find that the 
mud there 3' deep, you will be on your side. Not such a problem w/ 4 legs...

2) "top-heavy"? When you are up to butt in mud, you have no worries about 

> If a sauropod and a large theropod both entered a swamp, my
> money would have been on the 
> theropod being the one to leave (probably with a much
> fuller stomach than it arrived with).

No way, and we have been over all this before. How's about elephant vs human? A 
man can out-maneuver, even outrun an elephant on flat hard ground. In mud, he 
does not stand a chance.