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Re: the reason I asked about maniraptor limbs
Tim Williams writes:
I thought this was true for all maniraptorans. The palms face inwards,
but the hindlimbs are held vertically and restricted to parasagittal
movement. Whether this combination is suitable for trunk-climbing is a
totally different question.
This is pretty much how cats scale a vertical trunk. Foreclaws grip the
sides of the trunk, while hindclaws mostly face forward to provide traction.
Other (more arborial) species that can rotate their ankles to grip
side-to-side are capable of decending a trunk head-first, since their fore
and hind feet can swap roles. Cats can't do this, and have to back down a
vertical trunk slowly (or wait for the fire department).
There's a simple way to demonstrate this up close. Put a cranky cat on its
back and try to tickle its belly. Your hand will be gripped mercilessly from
side-to-side by the manual claws (causing puncture wounds), while the pedal
claws will pump back and forth in a more saggital plane (causing
lacerations). Try it and see...
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com