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Hypsilophodontid toes & tracks
Here's a quick question about hypsilophodontid feet:
Did the first toes actually reach the ground, and if so, would they have
borne enough weight to leave impressions in trackways?
Skeletal reconstructions of Hypsilophodon and kin seem to show sizable
first toes with decent sized claws, yet it would seem to me that an
animal that probably relied on speed to escape predators would have
reduced the first toe more than this, if not lost it all together. Could
it have played a role in improving traction? If so, I'd expect to see
impressions in trackways. Are there any four-toed small ornithopod
tracks known (I'm not aware of any)?
Could it have possibly been retroverted, giving some credence to the
early reconstructions of them perching in trees? I'm not talking fully
arborial behaviour, mind you. Perhaps something more like goats, which
can climb into low trees and shrubs to reach food.
Dann Pigdon Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/