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Climbing Deinonychus (was predator relationships)



Climbing Deinonychus (was predator relationships)

    crantz@UWYO.EDU postulated asked if it would be conceivable
for dromaeosaurs to try and drag a small carcass into a tree using
their large foot talons?
   Dan Pigdon imagined the fore claws being used for climbing and
the "swivel" foot claws being used as anchors in a manner similar
to the hind feet of cats.  He Thought this idea might have  been
tenable with smaller dromaeosaur species.... If young dromaeosaurs
were independent then perhaps they adopted this behavior until
they reached adulthood and (presumably) formed packs capable of
taking down large prey.  He also asked if any "family" groups of
dromaeosaur been found, with animals at various stages of growth,
or are all of the associated skeletons of adult size.
 Dan thought Perhaps smaller species of theropods used trees in this
way to distance themselves from the medium sized theropods.
   Chris Campbell added that he could definitely see dromies
climbing trees to escape other dromies or other scavengers.

    I think the idea that Deinonychus and similar ?sickle? toe clawed
theropods climbed trees is the best idea I have read in several
months and deserves a little more thought.  The rear facing pubic bone
would let these theropods to get closer to a tree (than other theropods).

The rear toe could be used like a telephone repairman?s spiked shoes to
support the weight for climbing.  Their long hand claws seem suited for
wrapping around a trunk and holding and climbing.  In addition, if there
ancestors were arboreal, then it is highly likely that they spent time in
trees as well.
   These theropods may have taken food into the tree to eat in peace.
They may have nested and raised their young in the relative safety of the
trees.  Youngsters may have climbed on parents signal if danger lurked.
Youngsters may have hunted in the trees while young.  It is possible that
they may have occasionally ambushed prey from trees (especially if
cold-blooded).  Maybe they slept in trees.
   Just because people often show these animals in packs does not mean
that they were not solitary hunters or went after large prey or climbed
trees.  I think they show them in packs and going after large prey because
they think they used their large claws to kill.
        Mark Shelly