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RE: Velociraptor profiles and a little background

John Conway wrote:

> This debate is far from dead. Indeed, the original "fighting"
> interpretation still seems to have the most support. So unless you can
> show me otherwise, I will still regard the specimen as example of
> Velociraptor using its toe claws for predation. 

I agree.  What clinches it for me is the proximity of _Velociraptor_'s
sickle-claw to the neck of the _Protoceratops_.  No disrespect is intended
toward those who proffer alternative explanations - you might be right, and
I wasn't actually there to witness the encounter (despite what the DA
says... *grumble grumble*).  But seriously, as Mary said, casting
_Velociraptor_ as the aggressor/predator and _Velociraptor_ as the
victim/prey remains the most parsimonious interpretation for the pose.

Waylon Rowley wrote:

> It's easy to imagine flight evolving from 
> pouncing/parachuting behavior. Obviously some of these 
> keen lil mammals would see the predator coming and 
> make a run for it. Evolution would favor those animals 
> capable of controlling their descent with more 
> accuracy and prolonging "air time". 

Indeed.  "Perch hunting" as the primordial avian behavior.

> That might explain 
> the increased EQ in some very bird-like maniraptors as 
> well as a more sophisticated auditory apparatus (e.g. 
> Troodontids). 

EQ = Educational quotient?  Has anything been published on this? 



Timothy J. Williams 

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

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163