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Re: MONONYKUS' ARMS



>Fellow dino-listers,
>
>I think I am going to have to agree with most posters on this list (the vocal
>ones at least) in my opposition to the idea that _Mononykus_ used its
>forelimbs for digging.  In looking through:

[...]

>And digging for what?  The semi-desert that it lived in didn't, as far as I
>know, have much in the way of fossilised subsurface insects etc.  Perhaps it
>was digging for roots or tubers. These scenarios I find unlikely too because
>the ultra-short forelimbs cause such a silly pose.  If it was really digging
>in the ground, one would expect longer forelimbs, or a body that wasn't so
>lanky.
>
>One suggestion that isn't quite so silly, is the idea that perhaps they used
>their claws to strip bark for beetles or other sorts of under-bark insects or
>whatnot.  This is also not very likely to me (though more likely than the
>first idea) because the claws are not very coordinated as one would expect to
>dig out insects in bark.  _Mononykus_ is also a little large to be eating
>just insects anyway.
>
>For me, I believe that the arms were nothing more than sexual display
>devices, and also perhaps they were implimented in intra-specific combat,
>which could explain the great muscle attachments surrounding them.

        Could the beastie have been a specialized scavenger, rooting around
in giant sauropod carcasses or some such?

bruce

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        "Dammit, Philbert; what kind of a lepidopterist are you?  For god's 
sake,
man; stand up to them!"