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Re: Lack of Running Giant Theropod Tracks

2010/12/3 Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com>:
> I think the strongest analogy for how dangerous Triceratops may have been to 
> an individual Tyrannosaur rex can seen in an African boar and their ability 
> to violently attack leopards  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4fIiijYiOY
> Most large ceratopsids were not only armed with horns long enough to kill a 
> tyrannosaur, they were also armed with a beak powered by massive jaw muscles. 
> Ceratopsians may have been omnivores like modern suids (pigs) and it may not 
> have been that uncommon for a bull Triceratops to drive a lone Tyrannosaur 
> from a kill so it could eat it itself (Greg Paul speculates on this in his 
> Field Guide).

May be... I wonder if someone with more knowledge than me can tell
about the latter developments on the feeding behaviour of
ceratopsians... In our age of FEA, perhaps someone may take cards on
the issue. I fact, I think I remember reading (or seeing in a
documentary) about the fragility of the beak in Triceratops, and that
sinking the horns into a predator may put the fragile snout close to
the body of the predator, making it easy for the snout to be broken.

> So on second thought, maybe a Triceratops, pound for pound, was MORE lethal 
> than a T. rex.
I do not know. I think it may be more like an antelope than a pig in
the lenght of the horns. I think an animal with straight horns has to
attack by running at the predator, with the problem mentioned above.
If an animal needs to use the horns at close range, having the horns
curved, to align the point with the sirection given by the circular
movements of the head, seems a better configuration, as found in
bovids (yet even then, gnus commonly fall prey of nearly-sized
predators), of the curved tusks of pigs. On the other hand, I do not
know how much good were ceratopsians at running, for even when their
limbs are strong, their different lenght, coupled with the unknown
degree to which the scapula moved onto the sternum, seem to make the
affair uncertain.