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Re: "Heel to Toe"
Hi Allan Edels, Mickey Mortimer, Matthew Bonnan and list,
Thanks for each of your observations and comments.
Allan Edels said, "However, the official definition of dinosaurs
includes the digitigrade stance (ref. "Dinosauria" Dodson, etc.). Of
course, the definition is based on the skeletal features". [Ray's note:
i.e., NOT upon trackway evidence, which I think might well be considered in
Thanks for that reference, Allan. Your meaning is clear in using the
term "official", yet in terms of science, which changes across time, I
prefer "tentatively 'official". :) All kidding aside, Matthew Bonnan has
just given us his as-always-excellent explanation, and now I'm wondering
whether he might agree that not all dinosaurs are OBLIGATE digitigrade
walkers (in view of the trackway record). [ O.K., maybe that should be
called 'special case' walking, but the ball is in your court, Matt.]
In the context of digitigrade dinos, the uninitiated could remember it
by singing (along with "Tiny Tim" and his ukalele of 1950's Ed Sullivan Show
fame), "[Dinos] TIP TOED through the tulips...la de da da...de de doedo..."
But, still I sometimes wonder how thoroughly "digitigrade" is or is not
defined, or whether there are degrees of it. All things in nature are not
always accurately described as purely black or white.
That said, is anyone game for a discussion on, "How did pterosaurs do
it?" ;) Oops! That's not dinos! But at least THEY progressed
terrestrially with the pes PLANTIGRADE (during quadrapedal motion),
according to recent papers (references available upon private request). As
to how the did the OTHER thing? Huuummm...