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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?