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HERBIVORES HAVE HALLUX TOO..
> Once you realize this a use for an opposed hind foot that does not involve
> perching becomes immediately apparent - grasping and subduing prey. In fact
> the closest living analogue to such a creature - the Secretarybird of
> Africa - uses its feet in precisely this way. (Ronald Orenstein)
Secretary birds have really short, weak toes that don't curve much, and can't
really grip things too well. They are unlike the long, flexible toes of
'typical' non-avian theropods and are specially adapted for stamping on snakes
and other small fare.
> An opposable foot can be
> used to subdue small reptiles or even extract them from burrows (as the
> living Harrier-hawks of Africa and Crane-hawk of the New World Tropics do
> very efficiently).
A ?Pliocene Aussie raptor (ornithological sense) that could do this was reported
recently, but I'm unaware of any technical lit. Can anyone help?
Tim - I can't mail you!! I'll try later today..
"You tell that ugly piece of worm-ridden filth he'll get no such pleasure from
us! Right?" "Urrwa!"