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Re: T.rex toothpick debate revisited
Jeffery Martz questioned my suggestion that T.rex would use its
forlegs/claws as toothpicks, noting that any meat stuck would be of
little nutritional value.
First, this objection is not very relevant to my main point, since
it is not the main reason T.rex would want to free food from its teeth
(detailed below). Besides that, I do not even think the objections is
true. When T.rex was eating, I think get some pretty big chunks of
meat or hide could well get stuck in those mighty choppers, and it
would have just as much nutritional value as the rest of its food.
But of course a T.rex is not going to count calories or try to
compute nutritional value. The main reason it would want to free stuck
food is simply that it would be an irritation. Anyone who has every
watched modern animals (such as a lizard, snake, turtle, etc) prying
and tearing with their front claws at food in their mouth knows that
this is a common phenomena. I have seen it many times. Sometimes they
seem to just want to free a piece of stuck food (even humans find
chunks of food stuch in their teeth anoying, hence literal toothpicks);
other times animals seem to be repositioning or tearing the meat for
easier biting and swallowing.
Which brings up another (or broader) possible use of the arms that
I neglected to mention. That is, they could be used for any number of
food manipulating purposes, such as pushing, prying, holding, tearing,
or positioning food while eating, just like many modern animals do
today. Someone suggested the other day that a T.rex might use the legs
to push itself away if it got its head stuck in a sauropod or
something. That seems like an extreme example, but I can think of more
mundane but useful food manipulating uses for the front legs and claws.
And as I mentioned before, I see no anatomical reason why it could not
(distance wise, it would work). So far those who doubt this have given
no real reasons for their position. As I asked before, to those who
question this, on what basis do you do so, and where do you see the
problem in mobility (the next or the arms?).