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RE: Claw function in Deinonychus
On Wed, 26 Oct 2005, MICHAEL HABIB wrote:
I would caution against assuming a single function for the enlarged
inner claw in dromeosaurids and troodontids. An enlarged claw on the
hindlimb is useful for a number of functions, including dispatching
large prey, pinning/dispatching smaller prey, and climbing sheer
surfaces (ie trees). It was probably used differently by different
taxa, which would explain the differences in morphology and relative
size of the pedal claw across dromeosaurids. Note that in the
largest-bodied taxa, the claw seems to be larger proportionately. It
would be interesting to take a phylogenetic approach, combined with some
morphometric analysis, to try to determine the 'original' use of the
claw in ancestral dromeosaurids.
Just out of curiousity, is the claw present on both sexes, and the same
relative size to each?