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re: Fingers crossed

Jessica of the Gobi wrote:

<I'd like to learn why they have their fingers crossed.>

  Probably because the two metacarpals (II and III) are not appressed
to one another, and otherwise have a very small contact point between
them, at the proximal ends of both. That would have enabled mcIII to
freely move about on what is otherwise a disc-shaped proximal end, and
with such loose ossified connection, that left ligaments to keep them
together. Once that animal died, and decomposed, the ligaments would
have gone, and the metacarpal, whichw as otherwise connected, would
have been free to shift about in relation to the rest of the hand.

  The same structure, incidentally, is seen in dromaeosaurs,
*Ornitholestes*, oviraptorosaurus as well.

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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