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RE: Sickle-claws (was RE: a little background)

David Marjanovic wrote:

> > I'd like to think that the large, recurved claw on the toe of the 
> > cassowary would serve very well as an analogy, 
> It's almost straight. 

Too right.  The inner claw of cassowaries is straight (and nor is it very
mobile in of itself).  I've read and heard competing views on how the
"killer-claw" of cassowaries is used as a weapon against belligerent humans:
as a spear or rapier to stab or thrust at attackers, or as a sword to slash
*across* the bellies of humans.  Maybe an individual cassowary has its own

> > It's also possible that smaller dromies used the sickle-claw as a 
> > tree-climbing aid, an idea suggested by Chatterjee (though he may not
> >have been the first).
> Chatterjee does suggest small, early "protodromaeosaurs" = "protoavians"
> climbed tree trunks. He does not mention the sickle-claws at all in
> this, however.

Which of Chatterjee's publications are you citing?



Timothy J. Williams 

USDA-ARS Researcher 
Agronomy Hall 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50014 

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163