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From: Tom Holtz <email@example.com>
> Indeed, the best matches for Archie claws are in many case (no big
> surprise) to be found in "maniraptoran" theropods.
True, but see below.
> Furthermore, felids (cats) are characterized by laterally
> compressed claws as well,...
And what are cats famous for? Climbing trees!
The fact is that a great many small cursorial mammals climb trees.
The switch is a minor one for small, clawed animals, and often
leves little anatomical trace. Tree squirrels differ from ground
squirrels very little in most respects.
My idea, after Olshevsky, is that small theropods may have tended
to climb trees to reach insects and to escape larger predators.
Except for the rigid tails of some groups, the smaller maniraptorans
fall well within the range where feline style tree-climbing might be
*Much* more detailed analysis is necessary to sort this out.
Like cats, it is possible for a small carnivore to be both
cursorial *and* arboreal! [Oh, wait - you do say that below].
The peace of God be with you.