Could a massive dinosaur climb a hill?

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Could a massive dinosaur climb a hill?
« on: 14/11/2009 00:30:04 »
george raszler asked the Naked Scientists:
Could a massive dinosaur with its weight climb a steep hill? And if it stumbled on the way down, would it die there as it would not be able to regain its feet?

What do you think?


Offline Don_1

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Could a massive dinosaur climb a hill?
« Reply #1 on: 16/11/2009 12:09:16 »
I think I would go along with Dave's estimation. Other factors to take into consideration would be whether the particular dinosaur was quadrupedal or bipedal and its height. A tall bipedal might find hills easier to cope with than a tall quadrupedal. The animal's centre of gravity and its ability (or otherwise) to shift it's centre of gravity would make all the difference.

As for righting themselves after a fall (supposing no great harm done), it might be that the terrain would be a determining factor. Flat ground could make it difficult. Undulating ground could be of assistance.

There is a common myth that tortoises cannot right themselves if they tip onto their back. This would be true if it were in the middle of your nice flat, even patio, but they can use rocks, plants, undulations and even grass to right themselves. Having fallen, a large dinosaur could use large rocks, trees and undulations to help it back on to its feet.
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