Friday, March 4, 2011

Dinosaur Tail

About Dinosaur Tail

Offset– Many of the dinosaur tails are used to counterbalance a long narrow part or a weighty skull. Earlier people thought that dinosaurs dragged their tails on the ground, serving to do little but making locomotion difficult. This seemed pointless and ignored the fact that the large mass at the front of the dinosaur's body had to be counterbalanced or else the animal would tip over!

Tripod leg- The tails of some dinosaurs could be useful in attaining a support posture, which was probably used to seek very tall flora and for mate.

Help in turning quickly- Some dinosaurs needed to run quickly and to be able to turn quickly, either to catch prey or avoid predators. In order to turn quickly while running, the tail's movement can shift the runner's direction, allowing swift turns.

Bludgeon for protection- Ankylosaurids like Euoplocephalus and Ankylosaurus had bony nodules at the end of their tails that could easily have been used for protection, which would have been useful for these clumsy, plated grazers. Also, some theropods, like Shunosaurus, Omeisaurus and maybe Mamenchisaurus had tail clubs for protection.


Whisk for protection- In 1961, the British zoologist R. McNeill Alexander proposed the idea that some sauropods may have used their massive tails as a whip to secure at their attackers.

Prehensile addition- Some people theorize that some dinosaur tails may have been prehensile, able to manipulate objects. The tails may have been used to build nests, move vegetation, etc., much as an elephant's trunk works.

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