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Re: Dromaeosaurid foot movement

Jordan,  as far as I'm aware, the set-up on all the hindlimb joints is
basically a forward - backward "rocking" motion that only allows for a
minimum of twisting.  The knee and ankle joints would have less flexibility
in twisting clockwise - counterclockwise along the axis of the limb
elements.  The most liberal amount of that sort of movement would have to
come at the hip, but even that would remain limited.  As in all living
vertebrates their are going to be built-in tolerances for unusual movement
within a regular range of motion i.e. the animal should be capable of
(cautiously) walking or running along rougher terrain without, for the most
part (accidents do happen) sustaining life-threatening injuries.

The sort of movement you're describing doesn't immediately strike me as one
a dromaeosaur would have a natural inclination to want to accomplish and so
even if it could (very carefully) manage it, why would it be advantageous
( what functional or behavioural goal would it then be able to achieve?)

Mike Skrepnick

> G'day to one and all...
> I'm just wondering about whether or not dromaeosaurids (I'm specifically
> interested in _Velociraptor_, here) would have been able to move their
> laterally, i.e., point their toes facing away from the body.  My first
> impression is that, no, they wouldn't be able to.  But I'm not positive on
> that one, and I would certainly appreciate a more educated answer.
> Have a good one,
> Jordan Mallon
> http://www.geocities.com/paleoportfolio/
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