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RE: Tyrannosaurus tail torque
Thanks for for the replies.
I'm not a physicist, but I'm a little skeptical of the T.
rex's-head-a-splode-if-it-fell argument, because the head would probably be the
last thing to hit the ground if a tyrannosaur took a tumble while running. I
think flesh and bone is a little stronger than what some think, and
outstretched arms are not the only way to prevent injury while falling.
A T. rex's torso was filled with air sacks and wrapped in muscle and tendons,
so I would not be surpised if such a creature could survive a nasty belly flop.
I'm also pretty sure I saw multiple broken and healed ribs on Sue when I was in
Chicago, but of course those injuries could have been caused by something else.
I have to wonder how *any* giant theropod would be able to last very long if a
belly flop was fatal. I'm guessing being knocked over while fighting with prey
or during intraspecific combat would be far more likely and injurious than a
trip and fall while running. In other words, even if a T. rex didn't run, it
would still, by necessity, be living a lifestyle that ran the risk of frequent
nasty falls since that lifestyle involved ripping chunks of meat off of
elephant sized animals.
Is there anyone out their willing to make something like a giant ballistic gel
T.rex torso and drop it off the back of a truck while going 30 mph? =)
> We are also capable of great feats of strength that are
> potentially harmful to us
> Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 11:54:05 +1100
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Tyrannosaurus tail torque
> On Fri, Nov 19th, 2010 at 11:29 AM, Raptorial Talon 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