Step on it, Rex. (Letters).
BRIAN HANLEY, GREENBRAE, CALIF.
In a recent reply to a letter about the T. rex Sue being lame and her survival being attributed to group care, Gordon M. Burghardt responded that all of these behaviors have been observed in living "reptiles" ("Scavenger scenario," SN: 3/9/02, p. 159). My understanding was that dinosaurs had been concluded to be the precursors of birds, not reptiles. This would seem to apply to the question of how fast tyrannosaurs ran, as well. If they were built like a bird, then maybe they weren't as massive as the researchers think.
SHAD AUGENSTEIN, DELAWARE, OHIO
Your article reports that T. rex couldn't run, but "Dinosaur tracks show walking and running" (SN: 2/23/02, p. 125) shows that Megalosaurus, a comparable animal of comparable size, both walked and ran. It would seem that something's amiss. What if T. Rex "only" ran at half of what some paleontologists have estimated, 72 kilometers per hour, and probably only for short bursts? It would most likely have developed only enough speed to catch its prey, and I doubt it ever needed 72 km/hour for that purpose.
MCCLELLAN BLAIR, INDIANA, PA.
In fact, the largest tyrannosaurs were about 4 meters longer than Megalosaurus and probably weighed about 5 times as much. T. rex's walking speed was a large fraction of Megalosaurus' running pace primarily because the larger animal had a longer stride. --S.P.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Apr 20, 2002|
|Previous Article:||Technically Speaking: Why All Americans Need to Know More about Technology.|
|Next Article:||Put out to pasture: strategy to prolong antibiotics' potency.|
|Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.|
|Coos Bay community rallies 'round Rex.|
|Rex redux redux. (Letters).|
|Heart throbmoves on.|