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Re: Protoceratopsoid tails adapted for swimming
Working from the basic geometry, thermal shaping of the tail would predict
proportionally more extreme radiative architecture as size increases -- all
other things held constant.
Certainly an obligate intragenerational crossing of a croc filled river would
be classed as a survival event, and both swimming speed and herding behavior
would be advantageous.
Even if Mike finds the tail anatomy to be less than ideal, I would think wider
and flatter would an improvement over a mere 'broomstick', assuming there was
no interference wit terrestrial function.
On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 1:03 PM EST Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>And let's remember: big tall flat surfaces are great for dumping heat in
>thermally-challenging environments. So there are other reasons to have big
>On Thu, December 5, 2013 12:59 pm, Mike Habib wrote:
> I will have to look carefully at the original paper, which I have not a
> chance to do yet. However, one caution with swimming adaptations is that
> efficient swimming is not merely a matter of moving a flat tail laterally.
> The manner in which the tail moves and transfers momentum to the water is
> quite important. Nearly any big flat tail that has base mobility can be
> used in swimming if need be, but not just any big flat tail is
> particularly good at it, and therefore the range of tail morphologies we
> would conclude to be specializations for swimming are different from the
> array that can manage.
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>Email: email@example.com Phone: 301-405-4084
>Office: Centreville 1216
>Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
>Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
>Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
>Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Department of Geology
> Building 237, Room 1117
> University of Maryland
> College Park, MD 20742 USA