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Re: AMNH



Nick Longrich says (on the inferred predatory habits of 
_Oviraptor_)...

> They [manual claws] are also capable of closing like an eagle's;
> these were raptorial hands and I would guess used to grab relatively
> small prey (smaller than Oviraptor) where the large beak may have
> been used to feed. I freely admit the absence of any sharp point to
> the upper jaw as in the eagle is confusing in this context.

Maybe this "sharp point" wasn't made of bone, but of keratin.  I
recall (and maybe this is out-of-date) that the total length of the 
upper jaw of _Oviraptor_ falls short of the mandible, so the former 
underhangs the latter.  In the real-life animal, this gap would 
have been bridged by the cornified rhamphotheca, so the two jaws 
would meet up at the tip.


Tim Williams