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RE: bipedal lunges

Having thought about it a bit more, I'm inclined to agree that as an
effective weapon the ceratopian charge is unlikely - not that it would
not be effective, rather impractical. Imagine the scene of a Hollywood
style show down with a Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus, facing each other
like in a western movie. The clock strikes noon and the Triceratops
charges.... Apart from being an extreme cliché there is one huge problem
for the Triceratops - what if you miss? Momentum carries you past your
target, thereby exposing an undefended rear end, which is exactly what
the predator wanted in the first place. As Rob Meyerson put it "consider
the "wisdom" of a forward charge: it would be putting itself into harms
way...I think the "battering ram" image needs to be abandoned as

A combination of Toby White's "circle the wagons" approach and Dann
Pigdon's Cape Buffalo comparison seems attractive. When they've figured
out that they cannot out run the predator (always the first choice) a
small group (??3-6) face the predator in loose order (perhaps in smaller
groups in a loose circle protecting the young) horns facing outwards,
beaks making loud snapping noises, and heads being pointed towards the
enemy and horns waved in furious display (you could throw in a bit of
snorting and stamping of feet - but you get the picture). Any creature
of intelligence (and predators mostly were) will take one look at the
size of the triceratops, and all the horns being waved around, and
probably decide it's too risky. If the predator gets too close - a few
short charges (say 3-4 meters) could be used to remind it of its

These sort of tactics do have the disadvantage of letting the predator
decide whether to press the attack or not, but the few short charges
[maybe even the odd bipedal lunge ;-) ] could act as an aggressive
deterrent. A similar tactic was used in Human battles, particularly
around the Napoleonic 'era' when infantry units would "form squares" to
receive a cavalry charge - the square was composed of rows five or six
deep arranged in a square to face a threat from any angle. The soldiers
were armed with a variety of long thrusting weapons - spears, lances
etc.. The important point is that a square was very rarely defeated by
the cavalry charge.

So, smart small group tactics, and the reminder of the massive threat of
the horns, could be enough to deter an enemy, with out the need for any
real fighting.