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Still Waters

Walk the dinosaur: New biomechanical model shows T. rex in a swinging gait

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Still Waters

Researchers from the Netherlands have created a new approach to envision how dinosaurs walked. By modeling a T. rex tail as a suspension bridge, the scientists formed a new idea of the animal's walking speed. Trix, the tyrannosaur from Naturalis museum in the Netherlands, probably strolled slower—but with more spring in its step—than assumed. This is a first step towards more realistic dinosaur motion.

https://phys.org/news/2021-04-dinosaur-biomechanical-tyrannosaurus-rex-gait.html

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/

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third_eye

When you're built like t-rex, you don't run unless you absolutely have to ...

~

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OverSword

What an improbable evolutionary path. 

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)

It's a very interesting study, and I've read the entire thing, and found something missing that might have a bearing on their results, though not being an expert I could be way off the beam.

What I found missing was any reference to the hollow bones and avian respiratory system that T. rex had. This lightens their bodies and allows them to breathe in a far more efficient manner than mammals, yet they are being compared to mammals in the study. The researchers could of course have  factored this in, but didn't think it worth mentioning. Sure, if you have a leg bone connected to a thigh bone and a thigh bone connected to a tail bone, and very big muscles connecting them, these are the important factors, but surely an impressive aerobic capacity has to factor in somewhere. From memory, so I might have gotten it wrong, a few years back a study on hadrosaur, edmontosaurus, locomotion determined that in bipedal mode, their large tail muscles helped to make them move faster, while this study of T. rex has them moving slower due to tail muscles and frequencies of movement. Hadrosaurs did not have hollow bones and the avian respiratory system, but where still thought capable of running at a good few knots, fast enough for a fit one to escape a chasing T.rex.

Edited by Wepwawet
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third_eye
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Sure, if you have a leg bone connected to a thigh bone and a thigh bone connected to a tail bone, and very big muscles connecting them, these are the important factors, but surely an impressive aerobic capacity has to factor in somewhere. 

High altitude range roaming? 

The tails on the big monitors and crocs are also used for balance as well as added muscle power for added/acceleration spurts of speed... Not to mention as a close proximity melee weapon... 

~

Edited by third_eye
Coffee retardation
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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, third_eye said:

High altitude range roaming? 

The tails on the big monitors and crocs are also used for balance as well as added muscle power for added/acceleration spurts of speed... Not to mention as a close proximity melee weapon... 

~

Yes, the stegosaur thagomizer and ankylosaur club in particular, and I think any of them could deal a serious blow with their tails. Sauropod "supersonic whiplash", maybe, as I'm not convinced they needed a tail to balance their necks, or act as a "tripod" so they could rear up on their hind legs to reach higher into trees than they already could, and the chances of them toppling backwards are about zero. The big unknown, as I said in the other thread, is the issue of preservational bias towards lowland areas with rivers and shorelines. What was living in mountainous areas, and why did theropods develop such an advanced respiratory system in the first place long before some of them took to the air.

Edited by Wepwawet
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third_eye
21 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

Yes, the stegosaur thagomizer and ankylosaur club in particular, and I think any of them could deal a serious blow with their tails. Sauropod "supersonic whiplash", maybe, as I'm not convinced they needed a tail to balance their necks, or act as a "tripod" so they could rear up on their hind legs to reach higher into trees than they already could, and the chances of them toppling backwards are about zero.

Not front back balance, more of side to side balance. I've chased monitor lizards and small crocs before, from what I noticed, they swing the tails counter to the direction they are heading to make tight speedy turns, to escape or to chase prey. 

~

21 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

The big unknown, as I said in the other thread, is the issue of preservational bias towards lowland areas with rivers and shorelines. What was living in mountainous areas, and why did theropods develop such an advanced respiratory system in the first place long before some of them took to the air.

Depends on the oxygen levels of the day maybe? Humidity is also a factor I heard, or read somewhere... The rainforest 'aboriginal' folks also have that flaring nostrils and hefty chest living in the humid dense jungle here in Malaysia, even if they're rather small in stature proportion wise. 

~

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and then

:w00t:

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Wepwawet
7 hours ago, third_eye said:

Not front back balance, more of side to side balance. I've chased monitor lizards and small crocs before, from what I noticed, they swing the tails counter to the direction they are heading to make tight speedy turns, to escape or to chase prey. 

~

Depends on the oxygen levels of the day maybe? Humidity is also a factor I heard, or read somewhere... The rainforest 'aboriginal' folks also have that flaring nostrils and hefty chest living in the humid dense jungle here in Malaysia, even if they're rather small in stature proportion wise. 

~

Tail for balance when turning would be a thing for T. rex as that is in it's ancestry as a biped. I think with an animal that size and on only two legs, there will be quite some strong forces involved when they did a turn at faster than a normal walk, a lot of torque I would think.

I don't think anybody knows why and how the avian respiratory system evolved, not for flight as that was one of the pre-exisiting adaptations that made flight possible. Something caused it to evolve when saurischians split from ornithischians as sauropods have the same system, certainly nothing to do with flight for them I think. This one is a puzzle.

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