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RE: Austroraptor cabazai

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:

> Previously referenced on the DML here:
> http://dml.cmnh.org/2005Oct/msg00259.html

I'd like to take this opportunity to jump on Tom's bandwagon.  The absurdly 
short forelimbs of _Austroraptor_ at first made me think "secondarily 

However, in this case, the secondary reduction in forelimb length may be 
associated with _Austroraptor_'s ecology.  To me, the spinosaurid-like teeth 
(also rather archaeopterygid-like) suggests a preference for small prey.  In 
general, maniraptoran forelimbs (especially the hands) don't appear to have 
been very well adapted for grasping small prey.  So unless they were turned 
toward other uses (like aerial locomotion) a truncation of the forelimb isn't 

On a nomenclature trivial note... "Austroraptor" was also the unofficial name 
of the Australian theropod now called _Ozraptor_.  There's no danger of 
priority, because the former name was a nomen nudum, and therefore has no