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CLIMBING WOLVERINES



You don't have to look like you can climb to be able to do it. Ronald 
Gunn, one of the few people who ever published observations on live 
thylacine behaviour (Gunn 1863), wrote how thylacines were apparently 
very good at jumping around on cross-beams high up in their 
enclosures. I wouldn't predict from morphology that _Thylacinus_ 
could climb but, as I said at SVPCA '99, I would not predict climbing 
abilities for canids, hyracoids or pecoran artiodactyls either (yet 
all three groups contain scansorial taxa).

Matt Troutman wrote...

> If anyone denies the similarity of the maniraptoran forelimb compared to 
> the _Cynocephalus_ (an obvious climber and glider) forelimb and argues for 
> a closer similarity to the forelimb of a wolverine (a predator that 
> actively uses its forelimbs) I'll seriously wonder about somebody's 
> mental health.  

Funnily enough, at SVPCA '99 I showed a slide of a wolverine in a 
tree. They are very capable climbers and quickly scale vertical 
trunks using medially facing palms while their feet are aligned in 
parallel with the body's long axis. It's tempting to think that some
coelurosaurs could have climbed in the same way (think of medially 
facing palms).

"No grammatical flaws do I find in the way Yoda talks" 
- - Rowe, emend. 1999

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
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http://www.naish-zoology.com]