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Life is so unfair. Surely someone with a lot of spare money could 
have funded my attendance at the Ostrom Symposium. If you are 
generous, rich, and sympathetic to my plight, email me at the address 
below. Anyway, sounds like it was great fun and well done on the 
reports that have been posted.

Onto some spin-off discussions, Ron has argued that maybe big, 
predatory dromaeosaurids did not have remiges, as these might 
have been fouled or broken in predatory strikes. This is indeed a 
problem, and attendants at the last Pal. Ass. conference 
(Portsmouth 1998) may remember that  it was bought up after Alan 
Gishlick's talk on the function of the _Deinonychus_ hand. Alan 
argued that digit II of _Deinonychus_ supported primaries, as do 
those of other feathered theropods. Julian Hume, an ornithologist, 
asked much the same as Ron: wouldn't the feathers have gotten in the 

Perhaps one solution is for the animal to fold the feathers back 
along the arm, so that they are not fanning around in a sort of 
cranial direction. I suggested this as a possibility after Julian 
posed the problem, but I appreciate that dromaeosaurids (and probably 
all non-avian theropods) almost certainly lacked the musculature and 
concomittant feather mobility that would have allowed such action. Of 
course, Greg Paul says that even _Archaeopteryx_ was not able to fold 
its wing feathers as modern birds do, though I confess I don't know 
enough about wing anatomy to truly understand why this is so.

Another thought it that some non-avian theropods could have modified 
their primaries into stiff, spike-like structures that could not have 
been fouled or snapped in predatory strikes. As always, cassowaries 
provide the analogue. Their quill-like primaries leave no 
osteological signature, are rarely broken (I've examined hundreds of 
dead cassowaries - the famous Rothschild collection at Tring - and 
there were no broken primary quills among any of them), and maybe 
could be beneficial in aggressive use of the forelimb. I emphasise 
I'm throwing out some purely speculative notions here, and by no 
means am I taking this suggestion too serious.

More (on phorusrhacoids) to come.

"Joe, you drive any faster and *we'll*  be going back in time"