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Re: Sinosauropteryx (again)



 From: luisrey <luisrey@ndirect.co.uk>
> Yes it seems that the first finger has a bigger claw and is longer in
> general than the rest.

My notes indicate that Philip J. Currie stated that "the first metacarpal
is quite short," and "the first digit is robust."  So while it was
certainly evident from Currie's illustration that the first ungual phalanx
of the manus (the thumb claw) was long and robust, the metacarpal and
phalanges supporting the large ungual were actually shorter than those
elements of the other two manual digits.  Mike Skrepnick's restoration of
_Sinosauropteryx prima_ on the cover of the _Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs_,
which benefited from Philip Currie's direct involvement, confirms this
interpretation.  The first ungual is so large that it more than compensates
for the shorter phalanges and metacarpal, so that the overall length of the
first digit -- including the ungual -- exceeds that of either the second or
third digits of the hand.  This is probably what you meant by "longer in
general," but I felt that some clarification was in order for those readers
who could not attend the '97 SVP.  Hopefully, some of these issues will be
cleared up when _Nature_ publishes the _Sinosauropteryx_ paper.

Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com>