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RE: Forelimbs of "Terror Birds"
Patrick Norton wrote:
>Bob Chandler described some wing bones from _Titanis walleri_ in 1996(?)
>when he was with the University of Florida. I don't have the paper in
>front of me, but I recall that he described the 1st digit as having
>developed a ball and socket arrangement, with possible grasping
>capabilities. He is quoted in other places as saying that he thought
>the arm was possibly used to hold and manipulate prey.
It reminds me of one current suggestion for the mini-forelimbs of
tyrannosaurids: that they were used to clasp large prey close to the
predator's chest, after the jaws and feet had subdued the prey.
There is also Newton's suggestion (not mutually exclusive) that the
forelimbs were used by males as claspers during copulation.