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Re: Digit Loss



>>Wonder, for example, why Mononykus lost all but the first
ungual of its manual digits. Must be connected withits lifestyle, which
was...what?<<

I agree with you there.  M. olecranus's arms must have been used for
something---there were definitely strong selective pressures at work there.
However, M.'s arms are very different from those of, say, Carnotaurus, because,
while C.'s arms were atrophied, M's arms were hypertrophied---something was
_added_, a clear piece of evidence for some strong pressure (although I have no
idea what that pressure was).  One can't whether M.'s other fingers were lost
due to random genetic noise, or whether there was real pressure for digit
reduction without some more alvarezsaur fossils over an extended period of
time.

Dan