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Re: Claws on deinonychosaurs

Patrick Norton wrote:

When I think of how dromies may have used their enlarged pedal claws, I remember a cock fight I saw years ago in which gamecocks, each having a 2" recurved bladelike device called a gaff
affixed to their feet, were placed in a pen and allowed to fight. In those fights, the birds >attacked one another viciously and expertly with their feet. The primary killing tools in those fights were the gaffs which they used very effectively to slash one another to shreds, although
stabbing with the beak was also used. Incidentally, at the same time, the wings were used to aid in leaping attacks and to fluster the opponent. Some might say this is the result of training, but I was told that there is very little training required at all. The birds are abused and drugged to
increase their aggressiveness, but they take naturally to using the gaffs as killing tools.

Sounds like fun for all the family. And to think, all those wasted nights I spent at home watching the tube - I could've been out witnessing a bloodthirsty demonstration of animal cruelty.

All in all (absent the abuse and drugs), this seems to me like a reasonable model for how Dromies
used their equipment.

The sickle-claw sounds like overkill (no pun intended) for intraspecific combat. It just so happens that in his Dinosaur Heresies book, Bob Bakker has an illustration of two _Deinonychus_ engaged in combat in almost exactly the same manner you describe - each with its sickle-claws deployed to inflict damage upon the other.