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Re: Digit Loss


First of all, please forgive me for using terms which may not be the
accurate  "technical terms/words", or which are french :) I'm not a
professional, just an amateur unlurking.

> Digit loss is something commonly seen, so it must have been an
> evolutionary response to a commonly recurring pressure.  The answer is out
> there...somewhere.
I do not fully agree with the point that "it must have been an evolutionary
response". I tend to agree with Daniel Bensen who said that 

        "evolution is driven by random mutation"

Digit loss can also be explained by genetic mutation. This reminds me of
Jean Rostand's work on frogs. Frogs (Bufo bufo) can show a loss of digits,
which is an herited mutation (non-dominant), and which is not lethal.

So i would say that a possible answer to explain the theropods loss of digit
could be genetic mutation. 

As long as this mutation is not lethal, or at least as long as it is not an
evolutionnary handicap (a complete lack of digit would not be necessarily
lethal, but would be a heavy handicap) theropods having this mutation can
fully compete with others theropods (which do not have the same mutation). 


William Bonnet