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Re: So-called Sickle Claws

bruce thompson wrote:
>         Has there been any informed speculation that some of these
> sickle-claw dromeosaurs may have led an alpine lifestyle?  I'm just
> wondering if the claw would be more of a help or a hindrance on rocky
> hillsides.  Or maybe they were just one of nature's "nice but not
> necessary" adaptions, like saber teeth in felids.
> bruce

I speculated a couple of months ago that the dromaeosaurs might have
been semi-arboreal, and the sickle claw was a tree-climbing adaptation. 
Climbing trees, climbing mountains -- might call for some of the same
adaptations.  Only problem is, one can find features at least vaguely
like the sickle claw in tree-climbing animals like cats.  But I don't
know of any mountain-climbing animal that has such a feature.

-- JSW