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Re: The "ideal" Eumaniraptoran arm motion



On Tue, 2 Mar 1999, Larry Febo wrote:

> Still, biological life forms must obey physical principles. They atmospheric
> friction, drag, whatever, that would be caused by cardboard or feathers,
> whatever, would tend to slow down the arms as they are swept forward in the
> "ideal" prey catching motion that maniraptorans were capable of. 

Bear in mind that the drag produced by hauling wings or slabs of cardboard
through the air is greatly determined by the angle at which you do it.  If
you hold the cardboard/feathers vertically, it is very difficult, but if
you slide the wing through the air horizontally (which, because of the
semilunate carpal block, is the plane in which maniraptoriform arms were
made to operate), it is not that hard.

Anyway, I don't know of anyone who ever suggested that the possession of
arm remiges was an adaptation for improving the theropods' ability to grab
prey.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
(253)535-7045