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Re: Long-necked stegosaur coming out in Proceedings B



Jura writes:
 > > > Perhaps a longer, more flexible neck made looking back at
 > > > predators easier? The problem with having your main defensive
 > > > weapons on your tail is that you have to turn your back on your
 > > > enemies to use it.  Being able to look backwards to aim your
 > > > tail swipes might be an advantage.
 > > 
 > > For sure.  In other words, improved better 'eye-tail'
 > > coordination so the stegosaur is not just blindly swinging its
 > > thagomizer and hoping for the best (or worst, if you happen to be
 > > the predator).
 > 
 > While possible, I'd have to wonder why the rear end of the tail
 > would be facing the predator, rather than the side. Most animals
 > that use their tails in defense (crocodiles, monitor lizards,
 > iguanas, etc) tend to present one side, or another to an
 > attacker. This has the benefit of presenting a much larger target
 > to the predator (which in this case, would be intimidating rather
 > than inviting), and allowing for "better aim" of the tail.

Yay!  Let's hear it for taking into account the actual, observable
behaviour of extant animals!

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "The best programs are created by three people or less.
         Big software teams guarantee disaster" -- Ted Nelson.