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Re: Raptors climbing trees?
determine what they were at least possible of doing. True, a full-grown
Deinonychus leaping from branch to branch MAY be hard to realistically
imagine. But what about a juvenile? It's hard to imagine the majority
of behaviors living animals practice, but it happens. This question
shouldn't be limited to the species, it's also a question of ecology
(what sort of branches were there to leap to & from?). Especially given
that there are tyrannosaurs and/or other larger predators in most every
environment dromaeosaurs are know from, ANY escape method should not be
ruled out w/o proof of impossibility.Â<<<
Of course, we will never know what they "did". Our task should be to
Some good points, but I strongly disagree with the statement "Our task
should be to determine what they were at least possible of doing."
While not uninteresting (humans can do the splits), what's far more
informative is to look for what an organism is adapted (i.e.
specialized) to do. This requires putting them into their phylogenetic
context (primates can generally do the splits, and people are actually
worse at it) to understand what the evolutionary changes are telling us.
There is little doubt that dromaeosaurs of small to medium size could
get up the right kind of tree (preferably one with lots of branches to
grab on to) if they really wanted to. But there is no evidence at all
that dromaeosaurs were specializing for spending time up in trees, so
there doesn't appear to have been a strong selective pressure (if any)
on arborreal lifestyles. None of them show adapations for leaping from
branch to branch (and actually show some adapations that would make
them worse at it), ergo such activities probably played as much of a
roll in their daily lives as doing the splits does in ours.
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