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Re;So-called Sickle Claws



Dinogeorge makes a point in his recent posting that "the hallux of theropods
articulated at the back of the foot.'' Here he is referring, I assume, to
Lockley's tyrannosaurid print from New Mexico that we have seen on television
numerous times in the recent past as well as indications on the anatomy of
Deinonychus. That old reversed digit 1 is certainly hard to come by in
theropod tracks. A "normal" digit 1 is even harder to find. And I really
don't want to ask Jim Farlow any more questions because he might come and
hurt me. I do remember seeing the tyrannosaur print as a cast at SVP in
Albuquerque, NM at SVP. It seems to me that digit 1 originated from a medial
direction rather than completely reversed. It certainly wasn't in the same
plane as the other digits. At the time, I thought that Mike Trcic's beautiful
Daspleteosaur sculpture, displayed nearby, captured the configuration quite
closely.
Well, I've some theropod pictures to do and I'd like to see this discussion
come to some kind of conclusion (good luck). Forgive me if I've missed it,
but has Lockley published on this track yet? And does anyone know of digit 1
impressions in any other theropod tracks? I just spent an hour with Gillette
and Lockley(1989) and they weren't any fun in this department.
And another thing.., I remember a NOVA program on PBS several years ago
dealing with the origin of birds. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I
remember disagreeing with a comment by Kevin Padian, on camera, stating that
Archeaopteryx had no arboreal adaptations. I instantly thought of the
reversed hallux so clearly shown in the fossils. Perching. Dinogeorge might
have a great opportunity here for his Birds Came First theory as well as
helping out paleoartists. I would certainly like to hear Greg Paul's views on
the tyrannosaurid track as well as the Deinonychus mounts Dinogeorge
mentions. Or any of you, for that matter, that have seriously considered this
issue. 
Dan Varner

'You got it. You actually GOT IT! Jim, you've just dug up the dinosaur
Spielberg invented for his movie!'
"He rolled it around in his hands a few times and when he handed it back, he
proclaimed it was a piece of junk. I felt like he had just used it to
disembowel me."