By R. McNeill Alexander

ISBN-10: 023106666X

ISBN-13: 9780231066662

ISBN-10: 0231066678

ISBN-13: 9780231066679

This can be one of many extra robust little books in technology. the writer elegantly describes such matters as how we will infer velocity from footprints, a realistic dialogue of no matter if a few dinosaurs have been hot blooded, and different fascinating themes. so much dinosaur books are both glorified photo books or narrative. this can be a sensible step-by-step discovery of "how we all know what we know". This, and Random Walks in Biology, are the 2 most sensible books of this kind at any place. As a biology instructor i have gotten a ton of fine principles and classes out of this one.

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Additional info for Dynamics of Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Giants

Example text

We also avoid complicated calculations. I believe that the simple m e t h o d I am going to describe gives at least as good an indication of the athletic ability of dinosaurs as any other m e t h o d so far invented. I m u s t m a k e my assumptions clear. T h e first assumption is that dinosaurs moved m u c h like modern animals. More precisely, I will ass u m e that the m o v e m e n t s of dinosaurs were dynamically similar to those of modern m a m m a l s , traveling at the same dimensionless speed.

S o m e w e i g h t s a n d m e a s u r e m e n t s of large m a m m a l s . Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1938A:433-439. N i s h i w a k i , M. 1950. On t h e b o d y w e i g h t s of w h a l e s . Scientific Reports on Whales of the Research Institute Tokyo 4 : 1 8 4 - 2 0 9 . Ill Dinosaur Footprints O F A L L that remains of dinosaurs, their footprints bring the animals most vividly to life. Fossil bones may remind us of a rotting carcass, but footprints are evidence of a living, moving animal.

We would find that higher speeds produced bigger stresses and we would be able to e s t i m a t e the speeds at which the bones would break if the muscles could m a k e the animals run so fast. M a x i m u m running speeds would be less t h a n this, allowing some margin of safety. Such calculations would raise all sorts of doubts. Did dinosaurs take long strides or short ones? H o w long did the foot remain on the ground, in each stride? Did they run w i t h their legs relatively straight like elephants or bent like smaller animals?

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Dynamics of Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Giants by R. McNeill Alexander


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