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Re: A fundimental conundrum concerning gigantic theropods



At 06:15 PM 11/8/96 -0500, Rob Meyerson wrote:

>Therefore, the need for speed is not as crucial as it would be in
>something like Utahraptor (an animal with the potential for high
>speeds).

Just to clarify something: among carnivorous non-avian theropods,
dromaeosaurids like Utahraptor have the LEAST degree of cursorial
adaptations: their tibiae are proportionately shorter and stockier than any
other clade, their metatarsi are short and broad, and they lack the
specializations for high speed seen in arctomets, Elaphrosaurus, etc.

Not to say that dromaeosaurids were slow in absolute terms: only that,
within a clade (Theropoda) with many members with cursorial adaptations, the
dromaeosaurids show the least degree of cursoriality (barring birds and
therizinosauroids).

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."
-- Tim the Enchanter, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
---------- subtitle --[Monty Python ik den Holy Grailen]

"Tim?!?  They called me TIM?!?!"
-- Tom the Paleontologist, on seeing "The Ultimate Guide to T. rex" :-)