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Re: Velociraptor footprints



Gregory S. Jensen wrote:
> 
>        No. And I doubt that didactyl theropod tracks will ever be found in
> >any great numbers (extraordinary preservational circumstances and injuries
> >being the exceptions). It does not make sense to me for an animal to spend
> >most of its life with a digit retracted. The only evidence cited for this
> >posture is that it would reduce claw wear, but no "hard" evidence exists.
> >
> 
> Don't cats do this, more or less?
Yes, as you said, more or less.Cat's feet are a little different than
Velociraptor's though and you don't have entire toes held up. But I do
think it almost mandatory that some dromaeosaurids carry their digit 2
this way.Those claws are proportionately enormous and very sharply
curved.The thought of them constantly in contact with the ground seems
ludicrous to me.It isn't exactly hard to imagine them lifted either.Even
in Tyrannosaurus the two "outer" toes are larger and stronger, and,
correct me please if I'm wrong, were the principal weight bearers.If
theropods were kicking things you would expect to see specialization
first in the toe that could change the most while affecting weight
bearing and balance the least.---Also on Luis Rey's site his page on
Utahraptor says something like "..contrary to popular belief the hand
claws were the main weapons.."This isn't a direct quote but it is close
I think.The hand claws were more "blade-like"(I'm guessing here based on
Deinonychus, I haven't SEEN a Utahraptor manus) yes but those giant
sickles on the feet would still seem to be the main weapon to me.This is
simply because of their location.A Utahraptor's hind legs certainly
could have provided more force to slice deep through skin and gut than
it's arms.If something causes the most damage I call that the main
weapon.I have no problem with the other ideas presented though about
using the foot claws to climb up the larger herbivores side.Your average
house cat uses it's claws to very effectively climb. But as anyone
that's had cats knows, those claws can cut through the flesh of a much
larger human with ease.---And just to think about....Struthio camelus is
very didactyl,very cursorial, and gets along just fine.I can't see how
giving an Ostrich a raised inner digit would affect it's impressive
ground covering abilities in the least---Speculation as usual, Sean C.