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Re: Metatarsal traces

On Wed, Nov 28, 2001 at 11:14:56PM -0800, Tracy L. Ford scripsit:
> Subject: Re: Metatarsal traces
>> Hi, All!
>>     I seem to recall seeing (once upon a time) a video of, IIRC, an emu
>> doing just that. Courtship, perhaps, or for some other reason. It was
>> _painfully_ awkward...
> Hmm, something to think about with courtship for theropods?

Last time I was at the Metro Zoo, the male ostrich went into some sort
of display directed at me quite close, just on the other side of the
fence (< 5m distance).  It involved croching so that the metatarsals
were close to, or in contact with, the ground, and lots of vigorous neck
weaving back and forth, with the neck tightly curved so that the head
was held over the body, and much shaking of wings.

I'm assuming he didn't approve of my hat.

It was at least one of a threat display, territorial assertion, or
_really_ confused courting display.  (There's a female ostrich in there
with him, he must know what one looks like. :)

As an explanation for trackways with normal steps and metatarsal
impressions interspersed, I'd accept courtship or greeting display;
those don't generally make much locomotor sense.

               To maintain the end is to uphold the means.