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Re: Rahonavis; sickle-claws

At 18:07 26-11-2001 -0600, Tim wrote:

When it comes to the "sickle-claw", it's not just size but what you do with it that counts. The large size of _Deinonychus_'s second pedal ungual, combined with its ability to execute a wide arc of movement, suggest that it was wielded as a "slashing claw". As such, the enlarged sickle-claw was a specialized instrument designed for predation. (Although *maybe* the hyperextensible sickle-claw was initially evolved as a climbing device, or was co-opted for such a purpose later on... but that's another story.)

I consider that a possible explanation, although one should realize that it may simply have been part of the prey-grasping technique, in which case its modern analogue are the hyperextensible claws of felines. The latter function might be suggested by specimen GIN 100/25, the Velociraptor associated with Protoceratops.