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Re: Triassic dinosaur evolution

Then could someone please pass this on to all the paleo artists out there? I've grown so tired of seeing drawings of theropods with completely serviceable forelimbs, just tucking them away like they were just featherless, non-functional wings.

Fair enough, but what counts as "serviceable"? If you're thinking of maniraptorans, then I absolutely agree. However, there is a strange pattern that many (if not most) non-maniraptoran theropods with robust forelimbs still can't reach out in front of their mouths, making the forelimbs rather unavailable in prey capture. Allosaurids, for example, have robust, powerful arms - but the length is still quite short in comparison to the total length of the cervical series and head, so the jaws would contact food well before the arms ever got close. That doesn't make the forelimbs useless, but it appears to make them rather unimportant for prey acquisition.


--Mike H.

Michael Habib, M.S. PhD. Candidate Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1830 E. Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 (443) 280 0181 habib@jhmi.edu