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Re: Tyrannosaurus Tail Torque

-Jonas Weselake-George wrote
>If one examines the difference between the suffocating kills of >largecats and 
>the long and >dangerous way wolves gradually injure their prey
  That may be the case with wolves, but African wild dogs are able to very 
rapidly kill large animals via disembowelment. Sadly ignorance of this fact 
lead many to demonize these animals, when in reality, they are able to kill 
their prey faster than many other predators (such as lions). They also have a 
very high success rate in their hunts, with about 80% ending in a kill.
>On another note:The picture is also incomplete if we don't think about 
>juvenile andsub-adult >tyrannosaurids. In any ecosystem the young would 
>beconsiderably more than three-quarters of the >population and may havefilled 
>a completely separate niche. The changes are great enough thatit >might even 
>be appropriate to refer to the adults as the "imagos" ofthe species 
>(especially given >the short life expectancy upon reachingmaturity).
   I agree, and I think that this, as well as the research on the 
caudofemoralis is a strong hint that these animals may have been considerably 
more "alien" than what we might have thought. This leads me to wonder how many 
soft tissue adaptations may have existed that we are unaware of. If I'm not 
mistaken, wouldn't the caudofemoralis muscle tend to pull the tail towards the 
limb making the propulsive stroke? If so, couldn't this have loaded a highly 
elastic tendon on the opposite side of the tail, or would such a structure tend 
to work counter to the caudofemoralis in the first place? Also, what about a 
kangaroo like tendon in the lower leg to help support the ankle joint and power 
the legs with a sort of "pogo stick" like effect? Of course this is 
speculation, but I think the fact that there are no giant bipeds running around 
today, or 100 ton herbivores may make it worth considering that nature is often 
more inventive than we are and these animals may have had some pretty 
surprising adaptations that we may only be able to guess at.
  I would also love to know how these animals moved in regards to slowing down, 
turning, falling, moving plantigrade while stalking prey etc. Would a T. rex 
rear up into a more upright posture when "breaking" to a stop similar to how a 
human leans back while stopping suddenly after a sprint? Would a similar 
posture help while changing direction during a chase? Could they skid to a halt 
by dropping their ankles and tail to the ground if they hit muddy or soft 
terrain? Of couse these are not questions that I expect to be easily (if ever) 
answered by science, but I think it's something worth thinking about for 
artists and animators that are making their best attempt to imagine them as 
living animals.
Simeon Koning