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RE: Claw function in Deinonychus



Andrew Simpson wrote:

Excellent points Richard. My own take is rather simple. Why have the thing if it's so unnecessary? I
don't think such a weapon would develop if it wasn't a very useful and necessary tool. And it remained on every dromaeosaur and Troodont for as long as they remain in the fossil record

Perhaps not *all* troodontids. In _Borogovia_ this claw is straight, not sickle-shaped, and it's hard to imagine how useful it could have been as a predatory tool. In _Tochisaurus_, the second metatarsal is reduced and very slender, so the second toe may have lacked a "killer-claw".


AFAIK, the idea that the deinonychosaurian sickle-claw was used as an eviscerating device goes back to John Ostrom and his studies on _Deinonychus_. (Sorry if this has been mentioned before - I came in late to this discussion).

Finally, there is a contrarian view that the sickle-claw originally evolved as a tree-climbing aid, and was later exapted into a predatory instrument.

John Hunt wrote:

The programme also starred Ken and a robotic Ankylosaur tail that was used
to break all the ribs of a pig carcase and send turkeys (standing in for
Velociraptor) flying across the room.

Sounds like a fun thing to do at Thanksgiving - except if you happen to be the poor turkey standing around waiting to be thagomized by a tail-club. Just dragging the bird to the chopping block is probably more humane, and much less messy.


Cheers

Tim