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Re: The uses of sickle claws



> Date:          Thu, 18 Sep 1997 18:35:29 -0700
> Reply-to:      Sankarah@ou.edu
> From:          Chris Campbell <sankarah@ou.edu>
> To:            dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:       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.
> 
Did dromeosaurs weigh anything like Smilodon fatalis?

Michael