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Re: Deinonychus claws; love 'em or leave 'em



At 09:24 PM 4/25/97 -0500, you (bruce) wrote:

>        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.

        I'm glad someone brought this up. Breeding-related adaptions would
seem to have the highest evolutionary "priority." After all, the basic
design of all organisms revolves around the purpose of replicating
themselves. Obtaining food and defense would be secondary functions of any
given organ, but still significant factors. I bet a lot of them died in such
battles, genetically favoring the swifter, bigger-clawed, and smarter
individuals.
        Also- even without the big 2nd digit claw, dromaeosaurs and
troodontids would have been good climbers anyway, with useful claws on both
hind and forelimbs. Even though they may not have been built for a
specialized arboreal existance, I see no reseon why the smaller, and even
some of the larger species would have had any difficulties climbing. Why? If
we had no knowledge of bears, other than their fossils, who would have
guessed that many of them, especially the juveniles, were such able
climbers? Such factors like bulky build and plantigrade feet would tend to
discourage that line of reseon. But then, with this in mind, look at
Deinonychus, who was a lot less massive than a bear, with relitively
superior potential climbing apparatus (and better vision to boot)! To
disregard arboreal ABILITY would seem unreseonable.

Sam Girouard
sampaula@pacificrim.net