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Re: Suchomimus prey?



-----Original Message-----
From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: 5. april 1999 1:34
Subject: Re: Suchomimus prey?



>Personally, I suspect that spinosaurids' thumb claws were for defense
>rather than gathering prey. Modern crocs often snap each others upper
>or lower jaws completely off, and I suspect that the even narrower
>(relatively, perhaps even absolutely) jaws of spinosaurs were probably
>not built for attacking (or defending against) other predators of
>similar size (or each other). Hence the large size of spinosaurids
>(making a more imposing sight) and their over-sized thumb claws
>may have detered attack from other predators in order to save them
>having to risk their specialised snouts from damage. Perhaps the
>vertebral sails also helped to bluff other animals (cats arch their
>backs to make themselves look bigger, frilled dragons use their
>neck frills for bluff alone).



There was a number of theropods, whose thumb claws were oversized - true,
not (always) to the extend as in spinosaurids, but the pattern of
three-fingered clawed hand was widespread: from allosaurids to
Sinosauropteryx (also with oversized thumb claws). Obviously, the use of
these hands and claws was multipurpose -- defense included. It is also
interesting to note that contemporary iguanodonts were armed with
thumb-spike defense weapons.
In the case of spinosaurids, I suspect the primary use of big hook-like
claws was handling big slippery, struggling prey: fish and amphibious
animals.




Berislav Krzic (Kr?ic)
illustrissimus@usa.net
ILLUSTRISSIMUS PRODUCTIONS
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