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Re: So-called Sickle Claws

In a message dated 97-08-21 15:48:54 EDT, vonrex@gte.net (Peter Von Sholly)

> Can you imagine an animal with three big
>  toes walking on only two?  Ot jumping with their full body weight on big
>  prey and hanging there on only two out of six toes?

If the inner toe is as short as it is in dromaeosaurids (due to reduction in
length of both the metatarsal and the phalanges), then I have no trouble
imagining this at all.  In fact, since metatarsal II is shorter than the
outer two mets (which are subequal in length), it would have been
*impossible* for the animal to put the base of digit II on the ground unless
it was standing absolutely flat-footed.  

How much support would it get from just the tip of a claw?

A modified ligament could easily hold digit II off the ground with no
expenditure of muscular effort and no compromise to the effectiveness of the
leg muscles.