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Re: Rough & tumble world



Natasha Ramsey wrote:

<I know I'm not a dinosaur expert, but I read John Horner's book and I
think perhaps his meaning of calling the T-Rex "an opportunistic
scavenger, a connoisseur of carcasses, not an aggressive hunter like
Velociraptor."  was to make the point of just what a ferocious hunter
Velociraptor was and that perhaps T-Rex wasn't the "Mighty Dinosaur
King" that he has always been portrayed to be.>

  What surprises me is that Horner did not reconsider the situations.
What data does Horner have that he can infer "ferocious hunter" in
*Velociraptor*? Note: Don Lessem was his co-author on this particular
book, and full of "fierce" and "ferocious" and such adjectives as
relating to their appearance, or apparent skills.

  Consider: *Velociraptor* not only was the size of a jackal, there
are further corellations between that particular *Canis* species and
Vel, including a low, rounded snout, long snouth with larger teeth
closer to the front than mid or back, with slender claws and a tow
claw that would appear to me do do exactly what Paul and Bakker have
illustrated: gut rippers. Excellent tools for opening into the ribs,
and the snout for snuffling around the innards for the choiciest
pieces. If you ask me, Vel is more likely the scavenger than Rex. The
claw morphology differs in that the second pedal claw is less recurved
than in *Deinonychus*, and may have operated slightly differently. I'm
gonna try to illustrate this for my site, so here's a preview:

  Deinonychus:
  claw _very_ recurved, would have pierced flesh, and with the rounded
ventral edge (at least to the bone; I'm assuming the keratin sheath
mimicked the bone shape) forming a stop to the slash kick we all know
and love. It would have served as pitons for climbing and providing
purchase for the animal grabbing onto the back of some unfortunate
tenontosaur and deal death with the hands and jaws.

  Dromaeosaurus and Adasaurus:
  claw not so recurved, in fact quite small, with large teeth (in the
former) that would have served more of a head-first attack than foot
or manual.

  Velociraptor:
  claw not so recurved, but large. Claw would have pierced the flesh,
but instead of "hooking", the rounded edge may have sliced downward.
Movement of the claw in an arc would not have move the point deeper
down, but would have kept the same length of the claw in flesh all the
way through its arc of movement. Claw would have opened between ribs.

  Utahraptor:
  claw especially narrow but not so recurved, would have performed
better than Vel in venting open the sides of prey. Robust premaxilla
remind me of Dromaeosaurus, so teeth may have been primary attack
method.

  Comments are appreciated.

==
- Often, it is the man who is brought
  down the path to the end who does
  not see his own steps. -

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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