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Re: Dromaeosaur "sickle" claws

> From:          Jeffrey Martz <martz@holly.ColoState.EDU>
> > 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. 
>      Exactly.  Curved knives and swords have the cutting edge on the
> convex side, presumably because it makes it easier to DRAW the edge along
> what is being cut, which makes it much easier to cut.  Try cutting a
> tomato just by pressing down, and then by slicing.  Dromeosaur claws would
> have the same problem.  With the cutting edge on the concave side, it
> would be more difficult to draw the edge along the wound, and the
> likelyhood of the TIP of the claw getting snagged would be greater. 
> LN Jeff   
If you stick the tomato with the tip of the knife before you press 
you can cut it with a duller knife.  I don't think it matters much to 
the prey whether an animal sticks it with a sharp claw and rips or 
another slices with serrated teeth. Either would ruin their day.  The 
skin and the fascia are the toughest to cut or tear.  Muscle tears 
easily.  I have no problem seeing a claw penetrating skin and fascia 
then being ripped.  You could do an experiment with say buffalo and 
alligator and measure the necessary force to tear.  As someone 
pointed out, emu can kill easily with a kick. 

Michael Teuton