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Re: Suchomimus prey?

Berislav Krzic wrote:
> 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.

>From what I can tell from the skeleton of Suchomimus, wouldn't it
have been difficult for the creature to reach down far enough to
grab a fish? Especially if the vertebral sail restricted movement in
any way. It would seem that the long jaws, and less recurved neck,
were adapted for reaching down (I believe the same has been said of
Dilophosaurus - straighter neck, kinked snout = small game hunter).
It would seem that anything a spinosaur could reach with its forelimbs
would have been in an inconvenient position for it to then bring the jaws into
play. Besides, the claw of Baryonyx seems much to heavy to be
an efficient fishing tool. Modern fish gaffs (spelling?) are usually
sharp narrow tools. Plus, from my observations, it seems that
the robust hands of Suchomimus may not have had much in the may of
manoeuvrability - perhaps more of a robust club than a precise tool.

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: