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Re: Velociraptor footprints
Losing what might be equivalent to our own big toe would require some serious
realignment of pedal morphology for what we assume to be cursorial predators.
In other words: that's a drastic thing to do to a theropod foot. A large pad
may have helped make digit 2 of the dromaeosaur foot still functional while
still protecting the murderous digit.I'll repeat a reference I made to the
list a month or so ago. C.M. Sternberg in 1932 illustrated a trackway from
the Peace River, British Columbia( Nat'l Museum of Canada Ann. Rept.
1930:59-85)showing digit 2 of a theropod as being isolated from the rest of
the pes impression. I believe the trackway was named Irenichnites
(?gracilis). I still think this would be a good suspect. At any rate, I
believe the functional morphology of the dromaeosaurian pes would make a
fantastic subject for a dissertation, especially in light of the fact we have
an example in action: the famous Monogolian Velociraptor vs. Protoceratops.
Does this fossil preserve the pes in "action"? Dan Varner.