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Re: Raptors climbing trees?

Until I saw the YouTube bit with bunches of goats in a huge tree, I wouldn't
have been arguing that goats were tree climbers!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Amtoine Grant" <rascienz@shaw.ca>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 2:03 PM
Subject: Re: Raptors climbing trees?

> On 2-Apr-08, at 6:33 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:
> > Dustin Mendus writes:
> >> Is there any likelihood of Velociraptor, Utahraptor, or
> >> Deinonychus being
> >> able to climb trees? Using their back claws like hooks into the
> >> tree, and
> >> moving upward? It seemed quite likely with the Jurassic Park
> >> depiction of
> >> Deinonychus(though the wrists are wrong...), but, is it possible
> >> at all with
> >> the real thing? Utahraptor or Deinonychus in particular, really.
> >
> > Dromaeosaur bodies seem like they'd have been fairly stiff and bird-
> > like to me. Having a long stiffened tail, and hips, wrists and
> > ankles all with limited ranges of motion, would have made climbing
> > quite difficult for the larger bodied species. Unless of course you
> > call the occasional mad scramble up something 'climbing'. Smaller
> > dromaeosaurs (below Velociraptor size) may have been luckier, and
> > certainly animals like Microraptor seem to have what appear to be
> > arborial (or at least scansorial) adaptations. However I don't
> > envisage something like Deinonychus leaping gracefully about the
> > tree-tops like a spider monkey.
> > Then tere are two things required for an animal to climb; the
> > ability and the desire. Lions and leopards aren't all that
> > different physically speaking, but the latter spend far more time
> > climbing than the former do. On the other side of the coin, compare
> > arborial foxes to their terrestrial cousins. Physically there are
> > few obvious differences, so it seems the arborial nature of one
> > species is governed more by behaviour than physical form. So even
> > if you can determine whether or not a particular theropod *could*
> > climb, that doesn't necessarily mean that it ever *did*.
> Of course, we will never know what they "did". Our task should be to
> 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.