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Re: Dromaeosaur "sickle" claws

On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Peter Von Sholly wrote:

> Not to be too nit-picky, but, I said nothing about serrations on the claws.
>  Swords, scalpels, razors etc. need sharp edges for cutting, not sharp
> tips.  If you ever cut yourself with an x-acto knife or razor, you know
> it's a clean smooth cut.  Cat scatches rip and rake and bounce over the
> surface.  Yes, they can dig in and tear the skin, but not slice it, in the
> way I would define SLICING.  It would seem to me also that "raptor" claws
> are more like cat claws than scalpels.  When we get to terms like slash,
> pierce, cut, rip, etc. we need precise definitions if we want to be talking
> about the same things

In which case we ought to simply use the commonly-accepted (in the
forensic pathology milieu) terms for defining wound type:  perforation,
laceration, and incision.

Dromaeosaur claws (and, I would suspect, the vast majority of animal
claws) would cause lacerations.  I can't think of anything in nature that
would produce something I could call an incision.

(And maybe if some folks object to the term 'sickle-claw', we should adopt
the term 'falciform'.)


xenopathologist at large!
Deathwalker for President:  for some *real* health care reform.