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Re: Digit loss

-----Original Message-----
From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
To: The Dinosaur Mailing List <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Sunday, June 10, 2001 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: Digit loss

>> Perhaps because
>> the manus was not all that functional as a grasping organ from the start.
>> Are tyranosaur digits opposable??? I don`t believe I`ve seen them
>> that way.
>Yes, they are opposable to a certain degree. All tyrannosauroids for which
>hands are known were capable of holding _something_ (whatever that was) in
>hand, even though it appears that they didn't do that very often. Also,
>finger II was longer than the thumb, which is not shown in any tyrannosaur
>picture I know.

Curious. I suppose, even if Tyrannosaurids started out as flying forms,
their claws must have served some limited grasping function for climbing
about in trees, or they wouldn`t exist at all. I wonder if some comparison
has been made with the digits of Archaeopteryx as far as degree of
opposability. Also, a comparison with Ornithischian digits, and their
opposability might be useful , as the ornithischian manus was never part of
an avian wing.