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Cats, claws and leeches

Jonathon Woolf <jwoolf@erinet.com> wrote:

>Unless it was edged along the inner side of the curve, it was simply the
>wrong shape to be a really effective cutting/slashing weapon.  

There is the possibility that it is simply a gripping and ripping weapon. Your 
own analysis of the function of a cat's claw should lead you to this conclusion.

A claw of virtually any shape, when kicked/pulled back with the muscular force 
available via the leg muscles of dromaeosaur, would surely make a mess of a lot 
of soft intestines.

>function as well as form.  Cat claws are specialized for two
>approximately comatible functions: grabbing/holding prey, and climbing. 

I don't buy this. I think cats are secondarily tree-climbers, as a result of 
their claw shape. They're pretty useless at getting around and down off trees, 
compared with specialised climers such as squirrels, martens etc.

Betty wrote:

>dung, or plants to lay their eggs in.  Leeches are aquatic and shouldn't
>be anywhere near a tree to get caught in sap.  Ticks prefer fields where

Oh, then why do they drop out of trees on passing animals/humans in the tropics