[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: bipedal lunges

I'd have to say that these charges being fatal is pretty much the
general idea behind them.
But I wasn't thinking of charges being used against other Triceratops',
more as a defence against predators. I fully agree that for intra
species fights, mating displays and such like, close quarters "horn
wrestling" is likely. The deer analogy here is quite apt.
However that cannot be their entire purpose, because then why would they
be pointed, and why have a shield behind them?
If you consider the speed and momentum available to a charging
triceratops, and a forward facing set of weapons, I think this points
very clearly to the charge being used as a tactic.

> ----------
> From:         rjmeyer@ix.netcom.com[SMTP:rjmeyer@ix.netcom.com]
> Reply To:     rjmeyer@ix.netcom.com
> Sent:         Wednesday, October 08, 1997 3:24 AM
> To:   dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:      Re: bipedal lunges
> Chris Campbell writes;
> >John Clavin (Digital) wrote:
> >> The only time I can see rising on the hind legs to be useful is in
> >> driving the horns into an opponent at the end of a charge, when
> momentum
> >> would likely force both protagonists to rise up.
> >
> >I think that's mainly how it would be used; wasn't that the original
> >argument?  I get the impression that they'd be operating in much the
> >same manner as bighorn sheep, only against opponents as opposed to
> >conspecifics.
> I have to disagree with this one.  If _Triceratops_ charged each other
> from a distance, the results would be fatal to one or both animals.
> Think of jousting knights using a spear (I forget the actual term), a
> shield, and that's it.  No body armor.  Things are even worse for the
> other chasmosaurines, their frill is not much of a shield, and is
> pretty vulnerable to damage (toss out the shield in this one).  Not a
> pretty picture.
> I suggest that when these animals did fight, they did so at close
> quarters, locking their horns and attepting to push their rival into
> submission (think of deer for a moment).
> Also, the semi-erect to fully sprawling posture that these animals had
> would provide extra leverege and stability during these
> confrontations.
> For more info, see:
> Farlow, J. O., Dodson, P.  1975.  "The behavioral significance of 
> frill and horn morphology in ceratopsian dinosaurs."  Evolution.  29:
> 353-361.
> Shalom,
> Rob Meyerson
> ***
> "Keep your stick on the ice."
>         -Red Green