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Re: Velociraptor profiles + swimming/flying etc.

On Fri, 22 Mar 2002, John Conway wrote:

> > - claw marks on Protoceratops skull and ribs. If Velociraptor claw was
> > killing weapon, and Velociraptor was fighting it's claws should leave
> > marks on bone. Less likely, if it was grasping the carcass.
> Yes this would be good evidence, if we could tell claw marks from tooth
> marks reliably. However, this particular Protoceratops got the better of
> its attacker (well, sort of), and may have only suffered wounds to its
> throat and belly. Also, Velociraptors may have avoided kicking at areas
> where they might encounter bone.

Claws of leopard or lion make visible grooves on the bone. I would expect
Protoceratops skull and ribcage covered with parallel scratches from V
trying to get free. Part of skull is abraded, but still there is enough

I understand, that alternative explanation is that V was being buried
alive by sand (or sand with water) and tried to grab the only thing which
happened to be around - Protoceratops carcass (probably it just scavenged
it before) and tried to hold to it, or climb on it, a bit like drowning
man trying to get some support from a plank of wood or floating barrel.
In process, it grabbed the head and put it's hand into the carcass mouth
for better hold.  So this would be "the bite". Still impressive story, if
you have pictoral imagination.

BTW - judging from the photo, P may be preserved in standing position,
with all feet on the ground. If so, the live/dead debate will be settled.


About wing swimming: A number of modern birds swim using wings (auks, ,
diving petrels, penguins, dippers). Auks and diving petrels really
sometimes fly straight into water and proceed swimming. All have short,
robust wings, shortened hindlegs and short tails, not typical of

No bird known to me broods (that is warms) young with it's wings. That is
done with part of belly and sometimes feet, even in birds which clutch of
eggs combined is heavier than the female. Some birds cover the well-grown
young with wings against sun or rain, but this is rare thing.

Many well flying birds use powered flight and glide and flap again, but
their stability is already well developed. Hard to use it as argument
for/against gliding stability in early birds.