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CLIMBING CLAWS



>In addition, I recall that someone on this list posted that there was 
an
>extant bird with a prominent #2 ungual (apologies to Feduccia on the
>number) which made use of this claw in scaling tree trunks.  Was it a
>cassowary or a seriema?  Could someone please reiterate the claim?

Both the cassowary and seriema have an enlarged pedal digit II, as well 
as some phorusrhacoids and I believe some brontornithids.  Darren Naish 
has posted quieres as to whether this may be primitive to the caramid 
(including fossil relatives)+phorusrhacoid clade; we'll just have to 
wait until the evidence is produced by Bob Chandler.  

I think the cassowary occasionally uses the claw to climb, but neither 
well nor often.  

Matt Troutman 
m_troutman@hotmail.com


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