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Re: Velociraptor Footprints

On Tue, 19 Aug 1997 14:10:22 -0700 Janet Nash
<health-info@pop3.poptel.org.uk> writes:
>Solved the riddle of velociraptor feet and the lack of tracks !?
>My theory is that they simply hitched a ride on the larger "quad"
>herbivores.  Although these were too large for prey, they would have
>been ideal "platforms" for single or small groups of velociraptors to
>survey the terrain and get around.  Velociraptors' arms and feet seem
>ideally suited to maintaining a grip.  The sickles probably functioned
>as spurs to kick the lumbering "platforms" into action when necessary 
>We can imagine out 'raptors dropping off occasionally for a spot of
>unsuspecting lunch - perhaps protoceratops.  This behaviour is not
>entirely without analogs.  Egrets, secretary birds and many other
>species ride large herbivore "platforms" in a similar way, using them 
>spot and flush out prey.  

But we still get good tracks from egrets, secretary birds, oxpeckers,
etc.  The modern birds you mention don't spend all their time on these
living platforms, and neither would the dromaeosaurs.  

Is this why some quadrupedal dinosaurs developed armored backs?  ;-)

Judy Molnar
Education Associate, Virginia Living Museum
All questions are valid; all answers are tentative.