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feathers, pistons, etc.
So, dromies were probably feathered, great. Would they be able to
preen feathers on those long, stiff tails? (How much flex, and in
which direction(s), would the tails have had? Enough to bring the
putative feathers into contact with teeth, hands or feet? Not that
they were necessarily limited to using those extremities, but they
seem most likely.)
Did I understand correctly, that the theory that they would have
featherless heads and maybe hands is based on the assumption that they
would be habitually feeding on animals much larger than themselves?
(whether actively hunting or scavenging or both) Would this apply to
dromies apart from Deinonychus? (I remember some near-acrimonious
debates about whether there is real evidence that D. habitually hunted
Tenontosaurus, so don't want to get into that again!) Most of the
modern raptors don't worry about a bit of blood from their (smaller)
prey, and use naked talons to do much of the ripping apart, so I
assume dromies could have managed too.
Opinion on the list is evidently strongly opposed to the idea of
hepatic-piston breathing for non-crocodylian archosaurs. Is there any
reason to think that the hepatic piston might be a highly derived
characteristic, perhaps linked to an aquatic ambush lifestyle?
And since I've cluttered the list this much, does anyone remember
offhand the citation for the article about the really big
Pentaceratops? It wasn't where I thought it was, and I've lost the
And thanks to Ray S. and Ron O. for recent exciting posts. Nice that
Dr. Holtz doesn't have to do all the work, all the time! (and
wouldn't it be nice if GSP was a more-frequent contributor, sigh)