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Re: Why did small dinos become extinct?
The hands of alvarezsaurids faced ventrally, not medially, based on
Senter's 2005 study on _Mononykus_'s forelimbs (Paleobiology 31: 373-381).
Oh, yes -- but that's because the arms are fixed in a sprawling position.
Imagine a bird with permanently spread wings.
I also like the alternative idea of alvarezsaurids being professional
scavengers - using their stubby clawed forelimbs to rip into carcasses,
gobbling up the yummy bits, and using their long legs to run away when a
bigger predator came along. Having only a single big claw on each
forelimb, sheathed in keratin, might also have decreased the risk of
infection from a putrefying carcass.
Then I'd expect more of a cutting edge on the claw, and longer arms. Or
simply sharp teeth. Alvarezsaurid arms had a very small range of motion
(same paper); they had nothing but sheer power.
Besides, professional scavengers that can't fly are impossible, see