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Re: Sloping terrain Re: Woman against Abelisaur



On 7/24/2011 8:54 AM, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

I don't buy the idea that ANY dinosaur is forbidden from particular
terrain (except perhaps for excessively swampy)  because of the
topography.

The original point I made stems from the fact that sloping ground is not recommended when considering where to site an ostrich/emu farm -- the reason is not that the birds fall down when they are just walking around, but that sloping ground makes a tumble at the higher speeds they will naturally sometimes attain both more likely, and likely more serious.

So I would not say the large bipedal predators were barred from sloping and/or rough ground, but they certainly would have been at unusual risk when charging around, whether the target be a young woman or something more realistic. Hence not a prime hunting ground, hence not good habitat, hence relatively "abelisaurid-free".

After all, proboscideans like mammoths and mastodons made
their way up into the Appalachians, and they were arguably less well
adapted in terms of their limb design to steep surfaces.

If you are comparing quadrupedal dinosaurs to quad mammals, I have no comment -- but quadrupedal locomotion is inherently much more stable than bipedal, even though it seems to currently be a common misconception amongst the dominant bipeds on the planet that the reverse is true.

I blame the automobile for that, personally. :)

Extant quads of all sizes regularly go where humans cannot without using their hands, in both steep and boggy terrain -- and theropods arms were too short to use as helpful third and fourth points of contact. Or even as a timely push on the knee when moving up a steep slope. So theropods were limited in ways humans are not.

There is still some logging done with elephants done in mountainous jungle in SE Asia -- what a great (and likely ephemeral) opportunity to research the locomotion of large quads in steep and muddy terrain.

The results will provide some nice insight into the ways bipedal and quadrupedal dinosaurs would have naturally tended to partition terrain.

As it is -- "Elephant Siam 1925" and "Myanmar logging elephant" are searches that bring up informative video, especially relative to another misconception, again common, that large quad animals must avoid soft ground. There is also opportunity to watch unburdened humans and loaded elephants moving simultaneously up sloping terrain.

Also -- I again urge DML listers who have any interest whatsoever in this to go into steep or swampy terrain as obligate bipeds (in other words, no hands allowed, period) -- how far you DON'T get before you have to put your hands down is informative as to what the larger theropods could do and ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT do.