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Re: New dromeosaur theory
On Wed, 01 Apr 1998 10:06:45 -0800 Randy King <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>I made a trip to New Zealand a little while back. I had the
>chance to observe the bird problem with the sheep. If you
>aren't aware of the problem, birds have learned that they
>can safely perch on the backs of sheep and dine at their
This behavior is known here in the U.S., too. Sheep ranchers can tell you
many tales of golden and bald eagles feasting on a still-bleating sheep.
Essentially, the bird starts at the ovid's tail and moves forward; the
preys will wander about, eventually subcumbing to shock. I've seen some
of the damage myself, while investigating predator management policies.
Large raptors will also take bites out of cattle, I'm told.
Boy, if ranchers think they have it tough now with rapros and coyotes,
think of what life would be like with sickle-clawed dinobirds...
>How does this apply to dromeosaurs? It has been argued that
>the sicle-claw isn't sharp enough to be a useful weapon, but it
>must be a tool of some sort. I believe it was used for dining
>purposes. By climbing up sauropods, a dromeosaur would be able
>to use the claw to hook into the backs of the beasts, and thereby
>dine in pleasure without the threat of being thrown. The sauropods
>lack the ability to bend their necks back to bite the beasts, and its
>doubtful that they could 'buck' the critters off their backs, so
>would just have to suffer the indignity.
>So, what do y'all think?
An interesting hypothesis. However, I wouldn't think the claw would be
good for gripping. Eagles have grasping feet to latch onto sheep; has
anyone looked into the machanics of dromaeosaur feet to see if they would
hold onto something?
<Scott Robert Ladd>
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