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Re: Function Talks at Ostrom Symposium
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> Alan Gishlick (a Gauthier student) filled in for Nick Arnold, and talked
> about his own new work on the limb mechanics of _Deinonychus_. Cool stuff
> about semilunate carpals and rotation of joints and so forth. Incidentally,
> like ornithomimosaurs (and some other coelurosaurs), _Deinonychus_ could not
> hyperflex the digits of its manus. In fact, digit III can not be pulled all
> the way into the plane of digit II. Probably not coincidentally, digit II
> is the feather-bearing digit in _Caudipteryx_, Archie, etc., and presumably
> the feather bearing digit in dromaeosaurids. This way _Deinonychus_ (and
> Archie) kept digit III accessible on the inside surface of the hand
> (meaning, incidentally, that the National Geographic sculpture of
> _Caudipteryx_ is incorrect: digit III would be on the inner, not the outer,
> surface of the wing). Don't know if I will bring up the "blinders theory":
> Alan may be waiting to unleash that elsewhere...
I was with Alan all the way until he reached this section of his talk.
The cute little lamb in his slide may have been good for a laugh, but it
ignored the fact that most of the larger prey animals of _Deinonychus_
(i.e., juvenile tenontosaurs) would have had a stinkin' long tail,
effectively preventing a rear attack. I also wondered: if _Deinonychus_
was close enough to confuse its prey in this manner, wasn't it already
close enough to just grab it?