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The uses of sickle claws



Just a few thoughts that occurred to me whilst pondering sabretoothed
cats (and, uh, whatever): 

Some on this list have brought up the hypothesis that sabretooths used
their impressive teeth to tear out a prey animal's throat; I was
wondering, why couldn't a dromy do the same thing?  If it were to attack
an animal a good ten time its mass, it would seem easy enough to leap
toward the base of the neck, lean over the body, and tear out the throat
with the sickle claws.  Alternately, if the prey were bipedal or
partially so the attacker could leap toward the front of the animal
(very dangerous) and slash at either the belly or the femoral artery in
the legs.  One good slash of the latter and the prey animal would be
dead in a matter of minutes.  These methods would make taking down the
prey much easier, and might allow smaller theropods to compete in a
realm generally left to the multi-tonners.  These are highly specialized
attacks, but no moreso than those proposed for _Smilodon_ and its ilk.

Anyway, just some thought.  Fire away . . .

Chris