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Re: Dino reputation 'is exaggerated'

An unconscious machine kicking out blindly is one thing -- but an
experienced living hunter that has honed its skills to find the right
balance between aim, force and timing would in my opinion be a much more
dangerous kettle of fish (okay, so I mixed some metaphors there...)

There's more to being a successful predator than sheer brute force. This
experiment sounds like the difference between a chimp smashing stones
together to make crude tools, and an Aztec punching out prismatic blades
from a block of volcanic glass (which were sharp and even enough for
conquistadors to be shaved with). Never underestimate a modicum of
finesse. :)

I've always thought that the shape of dromaeosaur sickle-claws was very
similar to the beaks of some predatory birds (especially owls). Perhaps
they were used as tearing implements to dismember a carcass, rather than
killing implements? Either way, making more use of the feet would mean
less for the forelimbs to do, lessening the likelyhood of damaging
precious 'wing' feathers.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs