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RE: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?



It's interesting how word use shifts and changes like that - I remember the
complaints at the time the word started being used to non-avian dinosaurs
that it would lead to this kind of confusion (not that it really has much
negative effect).

Interestingly, I think prior to the 90's, the word 'raptor' conjured 'thief'
in the mind when used in context with dinosaurs because of the 'egg-thief'
Oviraptor in all the popular books of the previous decades (which turned out
to be an unfortunate name in that sense). For some reason it had a higher
profile than Velociraptor in the kids' books I had... (and Deinonychus was
higher profile too) despite the 'fighting fossil'. I  think Crichton is
mostly responsible for raising Velocirptor's public profile.

...guess that's why we use the dead language Latin for things we don't want
to change with trends...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Brandon Pilcher
> Sent: Friday, 27 July 2007 2:39 AM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?
> 
> I understand, but I will always associate "raptor" with the 
> Dromeosauridae. 
> You can blame growing up in the 90's (when the word began to 
> be applied to dromeosaurids thanks to pop culture) for that. 
> Now I may have no power to dictate to people (especially 
> those who know way more about this stuff than
> me) how to use certain terminology, but I will tell you that 
> when most people, especially of my generation, see or hear 
> "raptor" in a context concerning Mesozoic life, the mental 
> image created in their heads is a dromeosaurid, especially a 
> dog- or person-sized one, and they're going to feel confused 
> when they find out you're referring to a bird.
> 
> That said, I am sorry for railing this off-topic, and I won't 
> pester anyone here with this again.
> 
> >From: "Chris Glen" <s370548@student.uq.edu.au>
> >To: <trex_kid@hotmail.com>, <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> >Subject: RE: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?
> >Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 02:16:01 +1000
> >
> >I assume you realise it was the informal name for predatory birds 
> >(particularly those with 'prey-grasping' feet) for a long 
> time before 
> >it was used informally for non-avian dinosaurs!
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On 
> > > Behalf Of Brandon Pilcher
> > > Sent: Friday, 27 July 2007 2:06 AM
> > > To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> > > Subject: Re: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?
> > >
> > > BTW, yes, I know, you meant birds of prey by "raptors", 
> but it is my 
> > > opinion that, in the context of discussions about NON-avian 
> > > Dinosauria, "raptor"
> > > should be informal for dromeosaurid. I hate it when 
> people use that 
> > > word for birds.
> > >
> > > >From: Brandon Pilcher <trex_kid@hotmail.com>
> > > >Reply-To: trex_kid@hotmail.com
> > > >To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> > > >Subject: Re: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?
> > > >Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 00:00:32 +0800
> > > >
> > > >>The grasping ability of pterosaur
> > > >>feet, to my knowledge, is still understudied, but a cursory
> > > glance at
> > > >>their pedal morphology suggests their ability to grasp things, 
> > > >>raptor-style, was limited.
> > > >
> > > >Dromeosaurids, to the best of my knowledge, used their feet for 
> > > >locomotion like all non-avian theropods, not for holding
> > > prey like falconiforms.
> > > >
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