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Re: So-called Sickle Claws



Ronald I. Orenstein writes,

>Of course dromaeosaurs had (or at least some had?) remarkably-stiffened
>tails.  These I have usually seen interpreted as stabilizers for balance
>during sharp turns or other ground-based manouevres - but I am,
>hesitatingly, wondering whether they might not have been useful in
>tree-climbing as well.  Is there anything about the mechanical structure of
>their tail that would make this unlikely?

Personally, I like the idea of aboreal dromaeosaurs.  Yet, I have one concern.  
Imagine an animal the size of _Dienonychus_ hanging from the trunk of a tree.  
The majority of the weight of the animal would have to be borne by the two 
sickle-clawed toes.  Were the toes strong enough to bear all that weight?

Wild speculation: Is it possible that the hand claws could have helped at all; 
or would the other toes have been of any help?


With Laughter,

Rob Meyerson

***
"Don't Panic."
        -HGTTG