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Re: Troodon

Ken Sharman wrote:

>I was watching one of my favourite shows the other night - Paleoworld, and
>it was about Troodon. The scriptwriters were playing with the thought of
>this intelligent animal hunting mainly small mammals. I noticed the sickle
>claw and thought: This does not quite make sense. 
>Am I totally out in left field, or would it seem more probable that Troodon
>would hunt whatever came its way (within reason, of course), more like an
>opportunistic approach? To me it is like saying that the present Lynx would
>_only_ be hunting rabbits and smaller rodents. 

The sickle-claw of troodontids is not very similar in proportions and
curvature to the true sickles of dromaeosaurids, as long noted by Osmolska
and colleagues.  Still, it might be useful againts larger prey than small

I missed the episode, and wonder if they discussed a certain theory
concerning denticle spacing in the teeth of the Troodontidae...?  (I don't
wonder too much, seeing as they never came around to talk to the first
author of that poster... Grrr....).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"There are some who call me...  Tim."