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SICKLE-CLAWED CLIMBERS



Re the _Thylacoleo_ claw (I think these posts were referring to the pollex of
the animal - it is divergent and apparently somewhat opposable to other digits).

Joe Daniel says..

> The problem with this is that the claw is clearly a specialization
> having nothing to do with climbing. If it did, then many of the truly arboreal
> animals would have possessed something like it. They do not.

This isn't a sound argument: you may as well say, for example, that because
pangolins have scales, other formicivores can't eat ants, or that, as birds have
feathers, no non-feathered vertebrate can fly. 

As for arboreal animals not having a _Thylacoleo_-like digit, they do.. a
divergent digit I is a common adaptation in arboreal vertebrates. 

> Thylacoleo was not itself arboreal and the claw is definitely not a
> carryover from its ancestors.  Thus the claw has nothing to do with
> climbing.

I'd like to know more about the osteology and ecology of the thylacoleonids, but
as far as I can tell, the idea that they climbed is a good one and I don't see
any good objections to it. Note that this is not the same as saying that they
have a divergent digit I because they were climbers.

While on the subject, what does _Wakeleo_ _mean_?

_Protarchaeopteryx_??? What the....??

DARREN NAISH

The one who dies with the most books wins.