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Re: Sickles and Ken Carpenter's paper



On 10/31/05, don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:
> One point I believe is missing in the sickle claw
> debate on list is that (if my sources per the fossil
> record are correct) Utahraptor, the _largest_
> dromaeosaur is also the _oldest_, and Velociraptor is
> one of the _youngest_, and therefore perhaps the most
> derived.

Ah, but _Utahraptor_ is roughly contemporary with _Microraptor_ and
_Sinornithosaurus_. Deinonychosaurs seem to have been more diverse in
the Early Cretaceous than in the Late Cretaceous--although the sample
size is so small and the phylogenetic hypotheses so contentious I
don't think we can necessarily rely on that.

> Therefore, if the case can be made that V. was
> _physically_ capable of easily killing the largest
> sauropods using the claw as a _climbing_ device

Again, I must say that this is absurd--_Velociraptor_ is minuscule
compared to even a small sauropod, and...

> There seems to be little overlap between
> large sauropods and V. in the fossil record.

That, too.

_Velociraptor_ was about 7-15kg. A Late Cretaceous sauropod like
_Alamosaurus_ was about 30,000kg. This would be like a mouse attacking
a human--I don't care how vulnerable the neck is, it'll be lucky to
even prick it--if it can even reach it. The only way a _Velociraptor_
is going after a sauropod is if it's a hatchling or, better yet, an
embryo.
--
Mike Keesey
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
Parry & Carney: http://parryandcarney.com