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Re: Utahraptor's sickle claw
Thanks to Joe Daniel for his comments.
Regarding Utahraptor (and I think most dromaeosaurs... and please correct
me if I'm wrong... maybe Jim Kirkland can have a word here) I think there
was an almost consensus that the hand claws were flatter than the feet
'killer claws'. This prompted Robert Bakker to speculate that the
Utahraptors would jump, slash on the sauropod's back with their hands while
holding to the prey with hooks like a mountaineer.The animal would later
die of blood loss.
It is not that the pes weren't lethal, but that the main damage was
performed by the slashing hand claws.
On the oter hand,the the kicking would also 'accidentally' open gashes in
the belly with the 'killer claw' (like we can see in the battling
Protoceratops and Velociraptor remains... here I see the opposite of what
I'm arguing for... Velociraptor seems to be holding the skull with its
hands while kicking the neck and belly of Protoceratops...)
All very intriguing, but pure speculation, I'm afraid.
I have seen Utahraptor's pes claw (I have a cast) and I think it has been
flattened during fossilization. Deinonychus and Velociraptor pes claws are
more rounded. And we have to remember that the 'killer claw' was the
roughly the same size as the hand's. And the hands had THREE of those EACH!
Open to suggestions...
>I was perusing Luis Rey's website, which by the way has some wonderful
>artwork by a clearly excellent artist, (nice job, Luis!) when I noticed
>a comment he made concerning utahraptors. He claimed that the sicle
>claw is not thought to be the main killing weapon and were used more for
>holding on so that the hand claws could deliver the lethal attacks. Is
>this the currently accepted viewpoint? He also said that the claw was
>more rounded in shape. The few sickle claws I have seen didn't look all
>that rounded to me and appeared quite lethal and capable of delivering
>deep gashes. Course, I haven't seen much at all in person so I was
>wondering if my very small sample size of uncertain dromeasaurid origin
Visit my website at http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey