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Q15 CQ

College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 315

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Short Answer

Certain types of dinosaurs were bipedal (walked on two legs). What is a good reason that these creatures invariably had long tails if they had long necks?

Bipedal dinosaurs had long tails to achieve balance.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Force

A force is an external factor that can change the rest or motion of a body. It has a size and a general direction.

Step 2: Forces on the Dinosaur

An object is said to be balanced when its center of mass is close to the ground. The diagram of a bipedal dinosaur is shown below:

The head's and torso's center of gravity lie at A and B, respectively. The center of mass of the tail is at C.

Step 3: Advantage of having Tail

If this dinosaur had no tail, the center of gravity would lie between the neck region and the torso, which is at a higher distance from the ground. So, the dinosaur might fall while walking. Hence, the long tail shifts the center of gravity to a point between the base of its legs that provides more stability.

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