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Re: Major new paper on dromaeosaurids, with other significant maniraptoran info

At 01:41 PM 8/23/2004, Dino Guy Ralph wrote:
Two handed scooping doesn't sound far fetched to me, as either hand will
snag the intended food item and quickly clap toward the opposing hand before
the animal has a chance to get away.  Dromaeosaurs certainly had long
forelimbs, and I would expect they were good for something (aside from
flying and/or gliding in the smaller varieties).  What aspect of this two
handed scooping scenario troubles you?

I've always thought (in my armchair-amateur way) that the best analogy for the forelimbs of dromaeosaurs, from the point of view either of prey-catching tools or tree-climbing implements, was a pair of ice tongs. That would make the normal position of hands, with the claws facing inward, perfect for grasping either prey (in which case the hind feet could be brought forward with a disemboweling stroke, or the head downward for a bite) or a tree trunk (in which case the hind limbs could hitch operated while the front limbs maintain a grip, especially on a sloping trunk, such as that on many arborescent cycads today). Thus, I can imagine a two-handed scenario more easily than a one-handed, personally.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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