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Re: The uses of sickle claws
[Snip of my original post and a relevant quote from _The Big Cats_]
> For machairodonts, the key factors to the success of this technique are the
> ability of the cat to immobilize the prey with its strong arms and the
> cat's primary attack weapon, its massive jaws. Since dromaeosaurs are
> relative light-weights, they would not be able to immobilize their prey in
> the manner of a cat. Also, the type of precision attack you describe for
> dromaeosaurs would seem to be ineffective against a moving target (i.e., a
> running, thrashing tenontosaur). IMHO, I can't see how any of this is
> applicable to dromaeosaurs.
I agree, I wasn't meaning to suggest the same exact technique was used,
rather that one analogous to or inspired by that technique was used
(well, not inspired, exactly, but you know what I mean). INstead of
immobilizing their prey, several attackers would leap toward the animal
hoping for a good position; the lucky ones who round it would anchor
themselves with their foreclaws and one sickle claw and make a good
slash in the appropriate area with the other. You're probably right
about the amount of precision required being too great, and while it
might be anatomically possible I can see how it would be an unrealistic
attack; this is especially true when you consider that the attack would
have to be enormously effective to have so much success evolutionarily.
Ah well, it was just a thought.