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Re: semilunate carpal

Dan Varner wrote:

<< The hands
clamped onto the prey and held it tight as the jaws and feet were put to
work to subdue the prey (suffocation with the jaws, evisceration or blood
loss courtesy of the slashing claws). >>

I have to respectfully disagree here as the head of the Velociraptor
is clearly pulled back in the same fashion as is done in hawks and owls (real
raptors) after a strike. Watched a Cooper's Hawk do this with a Mockingbird
yesterday. Probably protecting the eyes. DV

I would agree completely. In this "grapple-and-slash" example, there was no lethal suffocative bite. The killer blow may have been delivered by the raptorial pedal claw, perhaps accompanied by a quick nip to the neck (the strike you refer to). The manual claws might have been used to slash the prey at some stage, but I don't think there was any selection to enhance the dexterity or mobility of the manus.



Timothy J. Williams

USDA-ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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