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Re: Thoughts about the arboreal dinosaur

> Grant Harding wrote:
> Hi all!
> That new hatchling dinosaur that Luis Rey mentioned with the
> aye-aye-like finger and opposable hallux sounds fascinating.  It would
> have been neat to see it... Anyway, I have some questions about it
> that hopefully someone can answer.
> First of all, when I was looking through a bird identification guide
> the other day, I learned that nightjars and hummingbirds have an
> elongated middle toe with a curved claw called a "feather-comb", used
> for grooming.  I'm also guessing that aye-ayes probably use their
> elongated finger partly for combing their fur (in addition to finding
> and digging out insects).  This made me wonder: could the long finger
> on the new dinosaur indicate the presence of some kind of feathery or
> dinofuzzy integument? (Assuming that none was preserved, of course;
> once again, I haven't seen the specimen.)

I have also suggested this for the enlongated digit of Sinosauropteryx
(as long as the ulna). Personally, I'd think that serrated teeth
wouldn't have been all that useful in grooming fuzz or feathers, hence
fuzzy theropods may have had alternative grooming devices (elongated
fingers, maybe ever the ancestor of the pedal "sickle claw"). I'd
imagine serrated teeth designed for slicing flesh would end up clogged
with bits of fuzz, doing more harm than good. I can't think of any
living animals that have fuzzy integumentary structures AND serrated
teeth. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: