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Re: Lack of Running Giant Theropod Tracks

On 11/29/2010 9:38 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:
Yes.  Do the math (or read Alexander, who did it a decades ago).

As the elephants happily prove, that math is not applicable here. Swamp does not = water, or even a theoretical uniform mud.

Cycling a leg through mud changes and redistributes the solid and liquid components. Heavy stuff sinks, and the upper part of the column becomes less dense. Long legs and power rule.

Long legs can also reach underlying sediments that are firmer than the overlying soft stuff.

Those seds are there in most places. When they are not, you can swim through mud, if you have enough power.

When your water buffalo gets stuck, you go get an elephant to pull him out. If your elephant gets stuck -- well, too bad you do not have a sauropod.

In a very large animal, webbed feet would a tremendous disadvantage in a tree-filled swamp and also render dry ground travel impossible.