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Re: Giant flightless birds

>Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:32:18 EDT
>From: TomHopp@aol.com
>To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>Subject: Re: Giant flightless birds
>Message-ID: <a9f0d4ae.24699972@aol.com>

>Did you consider T. Rex's jaws? They look like fairly useful prey grasping
>devices. Maybe they obsoleted the hands as "second-best."
>    And consider crocodiles and birds. What do they use for prey grasping?
>Yet they are phylogenetically on either side of T. Rex. Care to
> -- Tom Hopp

Hi Tom. (haven`t heard from you in a while  8^)

Crocs and birds at least have an "excuse" for not utilizing their forepaws.
They are preempted for other uses. Crocs are quadropedal, birds have (by
necessity) wings.  Theropods seem to be restricted in their arm motions (if
not in grasping ability), and at the same time the motion they have is
similar to that of birds. My contention is that such restricted motion IS
ideal for flight (or is resultant from specialized flight related motions),
but does not in any way seem IDEAL for the procurement of prey. And , if
theropods had lineages that were cursorial for the entire length of the
Mesozoic, you think they would have developed more freedom of motion in
their joints, and maintained in all cases, long arms. The restricted
movements they have, as well as their general birdlike characteristics I see
as the secondary result of their ancestors being...well,.....Birds!  (sorry
if I`m just re-iterating myself here, but thought I`d sum up my thoughts on
the matter).

PS, sorry for the delayed response, but I get my Dino posts in diary form
(one lump sum the next morning), unless a copy is sent me directly as well.