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RE: Claw function in Deinonychus

Mickey Mortimer (mickey_mortimer111@msn.com) wrote:

<Achillobator's ungual seems to be manual (Senter et al., 2004), as I had
listed as a possibility back in 2000
(http://dml.cmnh.org/2000Oct/msg00476.html).  Same with Unenlagia? paynemili's,
by the way.  Which makes Makovicky et al.'s claim it was nearly identical to
Neuquenraptor's pedal ungual pretty laughable.>

  Didn't Tom Holtz comment about offensive remarks concerning future peers?

  Based on what features do you infer these differences? Are these concerning
the unpublished inferrences that have been made offlist, or exact features
backed up by statistical and comparitive data culled from a decent sample of
articulated specimens?

  For the record, if this does refer to the unpublished, personally
communicated features, I will affirm that the "raised lip" and subsequent
"depression" marking the raised region for the attachment of the dorsal
extensor tendon is present in pdII-3 of *Neuquenraptor argentinus* (MCF PVPH
77, Novas & Pol, 2005, pg. 859, fig. 1H), the flexor tubercle is shallow,
roubly oblate and not angular, and does not extend very far below the articular
face, as in *Velociraptor* and *Deinonychus*, both in articulated specimens.
This articulated pes shows these two features occur in a "dromaeosaurid" pedal
skeleton. Furthermore, in *Unenlagia paynemili* (MUCPv-415, Calvo, Porfiri &
Kellner, 2004, pg. 561, figs. 38-39), the dorsal margin and thus any trace of
the "lip" in the ungual is missing, thus cannot be properly evaluated, though
the flexor tubercle is angular.

  I would strongly suggest actually detailing and cataloguing this data for
statistical studies of the variation and similarities between manual and pedal
unguals in order to properly distinguish these elements, if found isolated.
It's probably worth publishingh, but won't happen and be "evidence" until there
is a quality of likelihood associated. For example, segnosaurs from
*Erlikosaurus* to *Beipiaosaurus* (but absent in *Alxasaurus*) also possess
these "manual" features in their pedal unguals, indicating the functional
interpretation of large, recurved, narrow unguals may exhibit similar features
if their functions coincide. Such functional or statistical information is
largely useless without backing it up and putting it into context.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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