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Re: Deinonychus claws; love 'em or leave 'em
>Erik Omtvedt wrote:
_Deinonychus_ was bipedal, with perfectly
>serviceable claws on its hands and a mouthful of teeth that would make a
>crocodile whistle in admiration. In other words, it was an extremely
>well-adapted predator without the foot-claws. So, why add the
>foot-claws? It didn't need them. Other theropods did perfectly well
>without them. They make no sense simply as added attack weapons.
>Therefore, it seems reasonable to look for a second function for them,
>some context in which they do make evolutionary sense.
Battle between males? If they had tough enough hides, they could
have sparred with their hind feet, like kangaroos. I'm having an image of
Deinos in a cock-fight.
Other theropods indeed got on well enough without them, but maybe
_Deinonychus_ was just that much better equipped. An analogous situation
would be sharks. Hammerheads and bonnet sharks have broad heads, providing
more surface area for their electrical field sensors. This enables them,
presumably, to find hidden prey better by homing in on the natural
electricity that fish generate. Other sharks manage well enough without the
extra surface area. SFAIK, there's no impetus _requiring_ animals to
evolve every possible advantage. Maybe some do and some don't.
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