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troodontids in trees
>I know this is an old subject, but I just heard some new evidence.
>>>the "terrible claw" on the toe of _Deinonychus_ and other theropods
>>>could have been used to grab onto tree trunks like the spikes in a
>>>telephone repairman's boots? How difficult would it be to reconcile
>>>such a scenario with the orientation of the back-bone and tail as the
>>>animal(s) attempted to climb?
>>I think that's a great idea, especially the repair man's boots analogy.
>>A good friend of mine works for the power company and I have tried
>>those boots. While talking to John Fischner in front of his full-
>>sized velociraptor sculpture in Tucson, we concluded that a raptor
>>could have gone right up a tree and probably get up as fast as just
>>about anything. The problem would arise when trying to maneuver in
>>the branches with a broomstick sticking out the butt :-)
>>(ossified tendons- stiff tail)
>I just read a description of Troodon in The Ultimate Dinosaur Book. This
>source claims that unlike Deinonychus, Troodon's tail is flexible, but it
>still has the switchblade toe claws. Presumably there is a whole class of
>animals like Troodon who could have been right at home in trees.
Yes, the Troodontidae did have sickle-claws and a more primitive flexible
tail. The sickles are actually much smaller in troodonts than in
dromaeosaurids (like Deinonychus). Its not improbable that some of the
Troodontidae got into trees, although the Mongolian genus Saurornithoides is
from a fairly arid environment that probably had few if any trees.
Thomas R. HOLTZ
Vertebrate Paleontologist, Dept. of Geology