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Carnotaurus extremely fast new findings show.....

  • 17-10-2011 12:37am
    #1
    Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,121 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭


    Sorry if this has been posted before but I just came across this, apparently the JP3 star was a much faster runner than thought according to this article: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-prehistoric-speedway-super-sized-muscle-twin-horned.html

    Apparently its due to the discovery that Carnotaurus had the largest caudofemoralis muscle of any known animal extant or extinct!
    A close examination of the tail bones of Carnotaurus showed its caudofemoralis muscle had a tendon that attached to its upper leg bones. Flexing this muscle pulled the legs backwards and gave Carnotaurus more power and speed in every step.

    In earlier research, Persons found a similar tail-muscle and leg-power combination in the iconic predator Tyrannosaurus rex. Up until Persons published that paper, many dinosaur researchers thought T. rex's huge tail might have simply served as a teeter-totter-like counterweight to its huge, heavy head.


    carnotaurus.jpg


Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    I read this yesterday and planned to post... you beat me to it though.

    It's extremely cool news! :D But Carnotaurus was never in JP3; that was Ceratosaurus, and only in a cameo.
    Carnotaurus was the antagonist in Disney's Dinosaur and in the first episode of Terra Nova.

    According to the study, the tail of a Carnotaurus was three meters long and weighed 225 kgs; it represented 15% of the animal's weight, compared to 9% in T-Rex, meaning the caudofemoralis in Carnotaurus was much more powerful comparatively.
    It also says, however, that Carnotaurus was probably not very maneuverable because the tail was rather rigid; it was mostly a straight line runner. Maybe that's why it had a longer neck than other abelisaurs, to capture prey that tried to escape running past it or making a quick turn?

    I'm noticing some similarities between Carnotaurus and cheetahs. Both are runners, both have long slender legs, a long body and neck and a small boxy skull with relatively weak jaws and small, blunt teeth. The weakness of the Carnotaurus' jaws has always puzzled scientists but not it makes sense; this dinosaur was, I believe, specialized for speed at an incredible level. The reduced forelimbs, the small skull... it all made the animal lighter and faster. It probably had to strangle its prey like a cheetah, cuz its teeth probably could go deep into large prey. :eek:


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,121 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Adam Khor wrote: »

    It's extremely cool news! :D But Carnotaurus was never in JP3; that was Ceratosaurus, and only in a cameo.
    Carnotaurus was the antagonist in Disney's Dinosaur and in the first episode of Terra Nova.

    Curses! :pac:

    I'm going with the excuse that I don't remember it that well because it wasn't very good :P


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    Curses! :pac:

    I'm going with the excuse that I don't remember it that well because it wasn't very good :P

    I loved JP3. And it was infinitely better than most movies and shows with dinosaurs out there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    This is great news. I like the cheetah analogy. It means those awesome illustrations from those old 'Dinosaurs!' magazines I collected as a boy are no longer inaccurate :)
    SuperStock_1788-5452.jpg&sa=X&ei=ZmSdTtGzC4a2hAf_kLmdCQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNETAJplfQNDOQD2_8rZf3gex-rA4w
    I guess Paul Sereno's scavenger musings were incorrect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭Allosaur


    Galvasean wrote: »
    This is great news. I like the cheetah analogy. It means those awesome illustrations from those old 'Dinosaurs!' magazines I collected as a boy are no longer inaccurate :)
    SuperStock_1788-5452.jpg&sa=X&ei=ZmSdTtGzC4a2hAf_kLmdCQ&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNETAJplfQNDOQD2_8rZf3gex-rA4w
    I guess Paul Sereno's scavenger musings were incorrect.
    It leaves one wondering how it tripped up it's prey....


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  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,121 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Galvasean wrote: »
    This is great news. I like the cheetah analogy. It means those awesome illustrations from those old 'Dinosaurs!' magazines I collected as a boy are no longer inaccurate :)

    I collected those too right up until they stopped coming out iirc. Must have a look around the attic at home although I have a bad feeling mum threw them out years ago :(


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Allosaur wrote: »
    It leaves one wondering how it tripped up it's prey....

    Maybe it knocked them over with its head/horns? But it did have a very long neck, maybe if it was hunting prey smaller than itself all it had to do was grab the animal with its jaws.
    Kinda like in Disney's Dinosaur... (Look from 3:48, imagine it with a small ornithopod instead of a Pachyrhinosaurus)



  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Carnotaurus-Running-wikidino-300x136.jpg&sa=X&ei=i5ikTu-OAYrIhAeOi-3BBA&ved=0CAsQ8wc&usg=AFQjCNE6tdYw7GkGOKTLHDhDPKo0hIoaBg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    I have changed my mind about the horns... I don´t think they were hunting weapons. I think they were probably eye protection!

    Think about it; Carnotaurus already has tons of cheetah-like adaptations; slender body, small head, long neck, relatively short and weak jaws and small teeth, and diminutive arms. They can all be explained as weight-reducing modifications. It was truly a super-specialized theropod!
    Now if you look at the cheetah, it has these black markings like tears around its eyes; they actually protect the eyes of the cat from sun glare, so that the cheetah doesn´t get blinded by the sun while chasing its prey at high speed.
    Because Carnotaurus has front-facing eyes, it seems obvious that binocular vision was important to it; so the horns may actually have protected its eyes from sun glare. This would explain the fact that the horns are not very large; just enough to protect the eyes, and not particularly well suited for fighting as many paleontologists have said already.
    This would also imply that Carnotaurus was a diurnal hunter and that it lived in open spaces (far from the ambushing, chameleon-like version of Crichton's book!)

    Now all we need to confirm this is:

    - To find more Carnotaurus specimens and confirm that both males and females had horns
    - To find its sclerotic rings and see if they support the idea of a diurnal lifestyle.

    I think these two would prove my hypothesis right :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Good theory. Don't think I've heard it before. I'll be sure to delete your post now and steal all the credit. :)


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Good theory. Don't think I've heard it before. I'll be sure to delete your post now and steal all the credit. :)

    Too late, I already told tons of people XD


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,121 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Too late, I already told tons of people XD

    Don't tell him that, you've doomed them all!


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭Kess73


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    I read this yesterday and planned to post... you beat me to it though.

    It's extremely cool news! :D But Carnotaurus was never in JP3; that was Ceratosaurus, and only in a cameo.
    Carnotaurus was the antagonist in Disney's Dinosaur and in the first episode of Terra Nova.

    According to the study, the tail of a Carnotaurus was three meters long and weighed 225 kgs; it represented 15% of the animal's weight, compared to 9% in T-Rex, meaning the caudofemoralis in Carnotaurus was much more powerful comparatively.
    It also says, however, that Carnotaurus was probably not very maneuverable because the tail was rather rigid; it was mostly a straight line runner. Maybe that's why it had a longer neck than other abelisaurs, to capture prey that tried to escape running past it or making a quick turn?

    I'm noticing some similarities between Carnotaurus and cheetahs. Both are runners, both have long slender legs, a long body and neck and a small boxy skull with relatively weak jaws and small, blunt teeth. The weakness of the Carnotaurus' jaws has always puzzled scientists but not it makes sense; this dinosaur was, I believe, specialized for speed at an incredible level. The reduced forelimbs, the small skull... it all made the animal lighter and faster. It probably had to strangle its prey like a cheetah, cuz its teeth probably could go deep into large prey. :eek:


    Would agree with the cheetah analogy up until the strangling bit. The skull and jaws were designed for fast and repeated biting with relatively weak jaws in terms of crushing power.

    A strangling stategy would be highly risky for a bipedal creature as it would come with the chance of being knocked off balance by struggling prey, and a fall could lead to fatal internal injuries.

    I think it did chase down prey, but wore down it's prey by inflicting a number of bites as the chase went on. Given that most research points towards it being able to bite quicker than most theropods, it makes sense that it had that ability for a good reason. Chasing and biting would cause the prey animal to suffer exhaustion, shock, and blood loss.

    The horns as weapons idea was discounted some time ago as research found that the skullbone would not have been able to withstand the pressure if the animal used it's head to butt prey or to jostle with members of it's own species.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Kess73 wrote: »
    Would agree with the cheetah analogy up until the strangling bit. The skull and jaws were designed for fast and repeated biting with relatively weak jaws in terms of crushing power.

    A strangling stategy would be highly risky for a bipedal creature as it would come with the chance of being knocked off balance by struggling prey, and a fall could lead to fatal internal injuries.

    I think it did chase down prey, but wore down it's prey by inflicting a number of bites as the chase went on. Given that most research points towards it being able to bite quicker than most theropods, it makes sense that it had that ability for a good reason. Chasing and biting would cause the prey animal to suffer exhaustion, shock, and blood loss.

    The horns as weapons idea was discounted some time ago as research found that the skullbone would not have been able to withstand the pressure if the animal used it's head to butt prey or to jostle with members of it's own species.

    It sounds like you are picturing Carnotaurus as a big game hunter... I don`t think it was hunting many large animals, actually. I think it was probably chasing after small ornithopods, which would pose much less of a danger. If Carnotaurus had been a big game hunter I think we would see a bulkier, stronger body plan, similar to say, Majungasaurus or Rajasaurus.

    Also, I don`t buy the idea of "if it falls, it dies". Bipedal animals are very unstable; I'm sure they fell over all the time anyways. Other theropods have plenty of healed fractures that were probably due to tripping or being knocked down by prey. I think these were the really serious accidents, though. If these animals were fragile enough to suffer fatal injury with a simple fall, they wouldn`t have lasted long.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 ✭✭✭✭Kess73


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    It sounds like you are picturing Carnotaurus as a big game hunter... I don`t think it was hunting many large animals, actually. I think it was probably chasing after small ornithopods, which would pose much less of a danger. If Carnotaurus had been a big game hunter I think we would see a bulkier, stronger body plan, similar to say, Majungasaurus or Rajasaurus.

    Also, I don`t buy the idea of "if it falls, it dies". Bipedal animals are very unstable; I'm sure they fell over all the time anyways. Other theropods have plenty of healed fractures that were probably due to tripping or being knocked down by prey. I think these were the really serious accidents, though. If these animals were fragile enough to suffer fatal injury with a simple fall, they wouldn`t have lasted long.


    No I don't think it was a big game hunter, but I think that fast prey were on the menu. The cheetah gets fast prey into a position to strangle them because it can trip them first. It is not probable imho that a bipedal predator could somehow trip it's prey when both animals were moving at pace. Makes more sense to me that it would bring it's prey to the ground through a combination of exhaustion caused by the chase and shock/blood loss caused by biting. Then at that point it could latch onto the throat of it's prey to strangle it/dispatch it.

    Also the ability to bite faster than other theropods would be crucial to such a strategy as a predator would miss with more bites than it would connect with, so a predator that can bite faster gets more bites at the cherry, pardon the pun.


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