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Re: paleontolgist, dinosaur

On Sun, 17 Nov 1996, Stan Friesen wrote:

> Ornithomimids may have been generalist small vertebrate feeders.

        Someone on this list (wagner?) was noting how common these guys
were, and someone at SVP noted the same. If they were carnivores, they
were certainly turning predator-prey ratios on the head, sometimes being
the third most common dinosaur in a formation, if I recall. Also, I was
looking at dinosauria, and you can see that the hand is built so that the
metacarpal of the thumb is MUCH longer relative to the rest, so that it
actually matches them. This means that all three digits can flex together
(like our digits 2-4) and while this might be good if it were using the
hands to hook branches, it would seem a pretty poor design for grasping
mammals. Some degree of herbivory at least, sounds possible.
        nick L.