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Re: So-called Sickle Claws

In a message dated 97-08-22 09:08:16 EDT, vonrex@gte.net (Peter Von Sholly)

<< Also, the BIG deinonychus claw seems to vary wildly in size from picture
 picture and from one restoration to another.  Do we absolutely know that a
 claw from one individual has not been composited onto the toe of another
 (smaller) one?  Composite skeletons are certainly on view in many museums.
 Just after the facts.  Thanks. >>

To me the worst sin about _Deinonychus_ feet (and all the other theropod feet
in the current exhibit) was committed at (though probably not by) the San
Diego Museum of Natural History, and likely other museums where this exhibit
has appeared, in mounting the feet of this animal. In a mounted group of
deinonychi, the halluces are all dangling from the medial sides the feet,
pointing >forward< and in line with the other metatarsals, with no attachment
to the rest of the foot. This despite the presence of an obvious articular
groove for the hallux on the back side of metatarsal II (which is occupied by
nothing in the displays), not to mention footprint evidence--including a
large tyrannosaurid footprint right there at the very same exhibit that shows
a beautiful hallux impression--that the hallux of theropods articulated at
the back of the foot.

The viewing public couldn't care less, of course.