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Re: Lack of Running Giant Theropod Tracks

The first question that came to mind when I read this subject line was: "do we 
have fossilized tracks that show ANY animal running, or breaking into a run?" 

I honestly don't know, but that would be the first place I would look. If 
running trackways are rare (and I think they probably are) then they probably 
tell us more about the ecological conditions that preserve trackways (as Dr. 
Holtz alluded to) and less about the actual capabilities of the animals making 


--- On Fri, 11/26/10, Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

> From: Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com>
> Subject: Lack of Running Giant Theropod Tracks
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Date: Friday, November 26, 2010, 5:00 PM
>   Unless I missed a major discovery somewhere, we have
> yet to find a trackway that proves that giant theropods
> could run. What about the Paluxy River
> Acrocanthosaur/allosaurid trackway that is "missing" a
> footprint on one side? It is ulikely that the Acro was
> hanging onto the side of the sauropod, since there is no
> change in the sauropod's gate, and there is no distortion in
> the "hopping" print as one might expect. If the
> Acrocanthosaur (or similar allosauroid) was "skipping" to
> keep pace, that would mean this huge animal hopped on one
> foot (both feet were in the air at one point). Doesn't this
> trackway then demonstrate that at least this theropod had
> leg muscles strong enough to propel it into an arial phase
> in its stride and was therefore capable of running? How long
> was the hop length? Couldn't you use the "hop" length to
> calculate the force needed to propel a 4 to 6 tonne animal
> through the air (on one foot) for that distance and then use
> that data to help calculate potential run speed? I'm sorry
> if this has been brought up already. I checked the list and
> couldn't find much on this subject beyond paper requests.
> Simeon Koning