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RE: Titanis paper?

--- Ronald Orenstein <ron.orenstein@rogers.com>

> Interesting that the restoration of Titanis 
> accompanying the paper shows it with typical 
> avian wings, not the "arms" that have been 
> postulated for it (not to mention that 
> restorations showing Titanis facing human beings 
> may require some revision!).  Is there now 
> evidence contradicting the view that Titanis' 
> wings had developed intograsping arms?

"Grasping arms" was always a very loose
interpretation. What is plausible is basically the
situation found in "spur-wristed" birds (Anhimidae.
_Plectopterus_, _Pezophaps_, _Vanellus_ spp. etc)
taken one step further, resulting in "merely"
extraordinarily flexible wings (for a flightless

These might have helped in holding down largish prey.
Of all the business ends of a phorusrhacid, the wings
had the shortest reach after all. So for tackling
whatever prey could be handled by the beak or feet,
the wings would not have been useful anyway because
they'd hardly have made contact after all was said and


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