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Jeffery Martz writes;

>     That is something I have been meaning to ask for a while; I have
>heared that the "edge" of the Deinonychus toe claw is actually really
>rounded like a hand claw, rather then having a sharp edge.  Yeah, I know
>it would have a horny sheath, but if the sheath was sharp, wouldn't you
>expect the claw itself to reflect that shape to some degree?

Pure musings on my part...

Let's say for a moment that dromaeosaur claws weren't the killer-katanas as was 
first thought.  What evolutionary pressures would select for longer claws?  One 
answer could be linked to their origin: aboreal theropods.  What if the claws 
are simply innovations that allow the group to more easily maneuver in the 
treetops?  A while back, someone (Mickey?) suggested that dromaosaur claws 
could have acted like lumberjack boot-spikes, allowing the animal to climb up 
the trunks of trees.  Admittedly, the idea of an animal the size of 
_Utahraptor_ up a tree seems rather unstable; yet if a gorilla can maneuver 
safely in a tree, then I guess it isn't totally impossible for _Utahraptor_.

If this is true, the dromaeosaur-superpredator model goes bust (kinda takes 
some of the fun out of life, huh).  ;^)

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro.