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Re: Tyrannosaurus tail torque



On Fri, Nov 19th, 2010 at 11:29 AM, Raptorial Talon <raptorialtalon@gmail.com> 
wrote:

> "I know the paper said that muscle mass estimates for past computer
> simulations may have been 45% lower than they should have been, but
> are there any revised estimates for top speed yet? If I remember
> correctly, past estimates ranged from 15 to 25 mph. So does this new
> information mean speeds in excess of 30 mph are much more likely?"
> 
> If anything, given the "face-breaking velocity" argument against
> higher run speeds, it may simply support the higher end of existing
> estimates, at best. That's my prediction . . .

Perhaps for the upper *safe* limit, but animals tend to be over-engineered for 
their usual day-to-
day activities to allow for infrequent (and potentially harmful) behaviour.

Antelope sometimes trip and break their legs when pursued by a cheetah, for 
instance. They don't 
usually run at top speed unless it's a life-or-death situation, when taking 
such a risk is better than 
certain death.

Us humans are also more than capable of breaking our necks in an awkward fall 
while running. 
That doesn't stop us from doing so though. We are also capable of great feats 
of strength that are 
potentially harmful to us (ie. the classic 'lift the car off the trapped child' 
scenario).

A tyrannosaur might similarly throw caution to the wind when fleeing an even 
larger tyrannosaur, 
or if on the point of starvation where their next kill might be the difference 
between their own 
survival or death. Such top speeds however don't tell us much about their 
average behaviour - just 
what they may have been capable of in an emergency.

-- 
_____________________________________________________________

Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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