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You are right and I am wrong. My apologies for the confusion. In the first
studies, Bonaparte came to the conclusion that the palm of the hand faced
outwards but in the 1990 collective paper of Bonaparte, Novas and Coria
digit four is indeed the spike facing backwards while digit one is almost

Apart from a very detailed diagram the text says:
"Large parts of both right and left manus have been preserved, although we
do not have a definitive interpretation of the distribution and
relationship of the different pieces of their carpi and metacarpi and
digits of the Carnotaurus. The reconstruction is tentative but we observe
the following:

a) There's a group of carpal bones, of unknown number,below the ulna.

b) Four metacarpals are present. Metacarpal I is short, similar in length
to metacarpal III; metacarpal II is the largest, morphologically similar to
I, but 1/3 longer in size, with a large proximal articulation; metacarpal
III is shorter than II, but transversely wider than metacarpals I and II,
with the proximal area anteroposteriorly large and the distal area smaller;
metacarpal IV is atypical, with a very large articulation for the large
condyle of the ulna.

c) The first row of phalanges was limited to digits I,II and perhaps III.
The second row of phalanges is represented only by a proximal fragment of
the second phalanx of digit II."

The diagram speaks more than a thousand words though...

The paper was puiblished the 4th of April 1990 in Contributions in Science,

>Luis Rey wrote:
><<It can never be emphasized enough! I had to do a bunch of mistaken
>reconstructions of those 'weirdest o weirdest' hands until I got mine on
>this paper. The thumb has turned into a spike facing backwards while the
>palm of the hands seem to be facing outwards. What this animal was doing
>with these hands is anyody's guess... get the Novas and Coria paper!! >>
>Do Novas and Coria come to a different conclusion than Bonaparte?  I have got
>Bonaparte's 1991 Historical Biology paper and he says that the hand faces
>inward and that the big spike is digit IV and not digit I.  Since the
>antibrachium is so short and the humerus isn't twisted, it is almost
>impossible for the hand to be either fully pronated or supinated, so digit IV
>(the spike) has to be pointed caudally and the palm medially.
>The ref is:
>Bonaparte, J F.  1991.  The Gondwanian theropod families Abelisauridae and
>Noasauridae.  Historical Biology 5:1-25.
>Check out figure 9 on page 14 and the text on page 13.
>Secondly, I am wondering if anyone out there could be so kind as to perhaps
>engage in a ref-trade with me for Galton's 1997 paper on Thescelosaurus that
>was published in some strange Swiss paleo journal.  I am really hoping to get
>the paper sometime this century (not really much of a big deal anymore...) and
>if anyone has it and would be willing to photocopy it for me, I'd be forever
>greatful.  I have a lot of Chinese ornithopod papers that I suspect most of
>you don't have and I could send in return.  Thanks in advance.
>Peter "my office has a better view than Darren's" Buchholz
>Beefcake!  BEEFCAKE!!!

Luis Rey

Visit my Website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey