[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

CASSOWARY CLAWS



Jim Kirkland wrote..

> Look at the inner claw on the foot of Casawaries. It is a spear and this 
> raitite can kick a man to death; quick. Killing one is a trial of 
> manhood for some New Guinne (sp) tribes. It is the most dangerous avian 
> dinosaur in the world.
>  Ken Carpenter ran past me the other day the thought that 
> dromaeosaur claws may be more for stabbing than slicing as they are not 
> serrated. Maybe, thinking about Casawaries makes this a more interesting 
> suggestion. It stands on one foot or jumps when it kicks you to death.

Cassowary and dromaeosaur claws aren't too similar as the former is straight and
not 'switchable'. But despite this, it's not used to stab AFAIK - in the leap
and double or single-foot strike that they are famous for, the bird rakes across
the abdomen apparently, effecting a nice disembowelment. Details on this
behaviour are hazy, and I'd like to read more on the way in which cassowaries
_really_ kill. It confuses me as the cassowary claw doesn't look suited to make
a long slash. Presumably a pointed tip is drawn down through the flesh.

This assumes that pointed claw tips are needed for slashing wounds but this may
not always be the case (good job, as claw tips that contact substrate get worn).

Ostriches have comparatively blunt 'hooves' on their main digit (I forget
whether that one's digit II or III), yet they rake downwards with it and can
create a laceration. According to some accounts (including one posted here some
time ago), they rake downwards with the main 'hoof', knocking you over, then go
to knock the head clean off... (as I delighted in informing colleagues who had
to handle ostriches for the first time ever at last year's Zoologica
Convention*). This may be a rather colourful picture however and I think we need
some volunteers to go out there and see what an angry ostrich *really* does. 

'Wyomingraptor'?? Gimme a break.. good job Uncle B doesn't name dinosaurs from
elsewhere in the world... 'Brusselsraptor'.. 'Queenslandoraptor',
'Hampshiraptor'. OK, if I find a new theropod here at home, that's what I'll
call it. 

*Sadly, the ostriches were cancelled and we had to deal with wolves instead. 

DARREN NAISH

The one who dies with the most books wins.