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Re: Evidence For a Feathered Velociraptor...



On Mon, Sep 24, 2007 at 05:42:49PM -0500, Tim Williams scripsit: [snip] 
> Good point.  What I had in mind was not so much the arm motions
> (flexion/folding or extension/reaching) but the 'business end' of the
> predatory stroke.  I agree that the feathers, if appropriately
> oriented, would not interfere with flexion (folding) or extension
> (reaching) of the forelimbs, even during rapid extension.  But when
> the predator grabs the prey with its hands, then those big long
> feathers could be broken or yanked out by struggling prey - especially
> the large struggling prey that _Velociraptor_ appears to have
> targeted.

Seen that video of an eagle driving off a wolf?  The eagle is (among
other things) beating the wolf about the head with its wings.

Geese and swans do that as a defence, or when having disputes with one
another; all sorts of ducks do that, too.  Feathers aren't that fragile.

It's also not clear that the very limited range of motion in the
maniraptoran manus was used for holding the struggling prey at all; the
proto-flight-stroke looks more like a mechanism for slashing something
apart.

-- Graydon