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Re: Noasaurus and Masiakasaurus



Andrew McDonald (equinox28@msn.com) wrote:

<According to Sampson et al. 2001, specimens referred to Masiakasaurus 
include metatarsals II and III and pedal phalanges and unguals. So, could
Noasaurus have had a spinosaurid or Megaraptor-style huge manual claw? 
This could indicate that it was, at least in part, piscivorous, like 
spinosaurids.>

  The so-called noasaurid "switchblade" claw is not particularly big,
unless you're comparing to fairly small hands in "ceratosaurs" in general,
in which the claw ends up on the hand maybe proportionately the size of
*Allosaurus*' claws, or smaller. If it's a foot claw, it would be
relatively as small as troodontid claws, so the effective use of the
"switchblade" seems rather weak compared to dromaeosaurids or
*Megaraptor.* *Masiakasaurus* does indeed have relatively normal looking
feet, as does *Velocisaurus,* and *Ligabueino* includes a single pedal
non-ungual phalanx that is not unlike that of *Noasaurus* but is
proportionately longer. *Elaphrosaurus* has a very similar leg and shows a
foot that bears long, flattened phalanges that are nearly identical to
that of *Ligabueino* and a little longer than *Masiakasaurus.* This
suggests the absence of a switchblade-utility, as there is no means to
retract this claw as seen in switchblade bearers like troodontids and
dromaeosaurids, but it is not saying they didn't have the largish claw
without having the hyper-extensible toe. But it does raise doubts on
*Noasaurus* having a large, hooked toe claw.

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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