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RE: Tyrannosaurus Tail Torque

  Since a blood choke (strangle) only takes about 8 to 10 seconds (if that) to 
knock someone out, I really doubt a severed head would be conscious for as long 
as you say. The brain needs a fairly constant supply of glucose and oxygen to 
function. Ruptured arteries can kill...fast. The crap in the movies where 
people get shot or stabbed in the leg or arm and act like it's not life 
threatening is just that, crap. What Greg Paul shows in 'Predatory Dinosaurs of 
the World' is dead on; a massive loss of flesh and a severed major artery could 
kill very quickly. As far as the Jurassic Park comment goes, I think the 
purpose of the line was to conjure this image of these things eating your 
organs while you watch. I have a feeling that they would kill you a little 
faster than that: they had an array of weapons that could puncture arteries and 
they also had very sharp teeth. That being said, I guess if they are swallowing 
the bits they chew off, then yes, they are technically eating you while you are 
alive. If I'm not mistaken, some big cats like Pumas and jaguars will chew 
through their victim's head...ouch.   

> Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2010 14:54:02 -0600
> From: raptorialtalon@gmail.com
> To: simkoning@msn.com
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Tyrannosaurus Tail Torque
> "So that line in Jurassic Park about, "being alive when they start to
> eat you" is probably BS."
> Actually, no, cursorial pack-hunters like wolves and hyenas truly kill
> their prey by eating it, so that the victim is technically alive - for
> however brief a period - while the pack begins eating the viscera
> (once the prey is on the ground). A severed human head can survive for
> 20-30 seconds before loss of consciousness from lack of oxygen, so a
> wildebeest should certainly be alive (even if blacked out) for a
> comparable period of time before blood loss and shock finish it off.
> This in contrast to cats, which make sure the victim is well and truly
> dead (except lions, which are sometimes desperate enough to start
> eating while a pridemate is still maintaining the chokehold).
> "Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives" by Turner and Anton discusses
> this predation-style dichotomy, if you'd like a reference.