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RE: Titanis paper?

--- Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>

> Eike wrote:
> > "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
> > bird).
> I'm not saying you're incorrect, but my impression
> of _Titanis_ is a little different.  The shape of
> the proximal part of the major wing digit suggests
> that this digit was mobile, which has led to
> speculation that this digit might have sported a
> claw.  AFAIK, no wing-claws (spurs are otherwise)
> are known for _Titanis_.  

I was not referring to _Titanis_ specifically, but to
phories in general. Better hypodigm but IIRC no claws
still. The other examples were merely borne out of the
need to point out *some* birds which use/move their
wings in unusual ways. In any case, as per the
Alvarenga/Höfling review, phories have

"a coracoid with the extreme reduction of
the procoracoidal and acrocoracoidal processes,
possessing an ample scapular facet, in the form of a
groove; a humerus with the internal tuberosity bulging
proximally, the proximal half of the diaphysis being
strongly bent and the processus flexorius distally
prominent". And at least in some cases an unusually
flexible hand.

That's known; the rest is conjecture. But considering
that the wings of _Titanis_ were proportionally maybe
the same size as in _Mancalla_ or the Great Auk etc,
it is hard to imagine how they would have played a key
role in predation.



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