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Re: The uses of sickle claws

Jeffrey Martz wrote:
> > >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?
> Thomas Holtze wrote...
> > They did.
> >
> > This is where the foot claw of the _Velociraptor_ in the "fighting
> > dinosaurs" pair is placed: within the throat of the _Protoceratops_.
>       "Tearing" or just dug in?  Was the motivation for placing the foot
> there "kill to eat" or "GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!"?  Letting an animal
> your size of larger with a head and beak that large and formidible
> compared to your body bowl you over and get its mouth on you just so you
> can get your foot in its neck seems like a risky predation strategy.  I
> don't know if going for the neck was a usual strategy employed by
> dromeosaurs, but it seems likely that the fighting pair _Velociraptor_
> (if it really did attack the _Protoceratops_) was not having the hunt
> go the way it should at that point.
> LN Jeff
> O-
        On second thought (see a previous post on the same topic),
I'd say it was just as likely that V.mongoliensis was caught in
the act of robbing a nest of eggs/hatchlings. Just because it has
an impressive array of foot weaponry doesn't mean it ever used
them while hunting. The musk deer has long sharp canines, but is not
carnivorous. The same goes for gorillas and giant pandas. Foot claws
may have been used for climbing, or for ritual displays (the musk
deer again), or for holding/tearing a carcass (isn't the shape of
dromie foot claws similar to the curve of modern raptor beaks?)
, or purely for self defence (cassowaries).
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia