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Re: the maniraptoran wrist

I have never formally studied paleontology. Personally is the wrist (to enable folding) also have competitive advantage for agility and balancing ?? For relatively big forelimb it is difficult to imagine running at high speed only by hindlimb without folding back the forelimb. I wonder if there is any study on that.

From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
Reply-To: dannj@alphalink.com.au
To: DML <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: the maniraptoran wrist
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 10:44:14 +1000

"Williams, Tim" wrote:

> There is an alternative hypothesis that the folding mechanism of the
> arms was designed to reduce rotational inertia during such predatory
> pursuits. (I've mentioned the paper on this list, but can't recall the
> auhors at the moment.) As such, tucking the arms against the chest improved
> maneuverability - which might be regarded as useful to predators that relied
> on brief chases to run down prey. The maniraptoran forelimbs were deployed
> only when the prey was within reach - but during the chase the long, gangly
> forelimbs were kept out of the way.

Yes... but is this function the ORIGIN of the maniraptoran wrist
structure, or is it BECAUSE of the pre-existing structure that 2ndary
flightless maniraptorans were able to adapt to a terrestrial predatory
niche? Chicken and egg stuff, if you ask me (and what an apt metaphor!)


Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/

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