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Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)
Quoting don ohmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Given probable leg strength, and the probable toughness of hide on potential
> victims, wouldn't using the claw as a sickle-knife or guthook tend to rip the
> sheath off the core w/ the first kick?
> Certainly dogs and cats lose claws easily when the force acting on the claw
> pulls up and away...
I've always envisaged the so-called 'sickle claws' (they tend to be a lot
straighter than sickles
though) as piercing rather than slashing weapons. Their slight curve would
actually help them to
pierce better than a straight claw would, since they're not being driven
straight ahead like a piston
but rather in a curved arc.
When cats sharpen their claws, they pull them back out the way they went in,
rather than hooking
and pulling downwards in a slashing movement. Far from damaging the claws, it
actually serves to
sharpen them by stripping off the old outer layer.
A claw that goes in and is pulled out straight should be fairly immune to
damage, provided there's
no twisting involved. This would require dromaeosaurs to use a hit-and-run
attack method like
Great White sharks or venomous snakes employ, rather than a sustained grapple
like that of lions.
A quick pounce, a plunging toe claw into the belly or throat, and a quick
retreat would leave deep
puncturing wounds where they'd do the most damage, while lowering the
likelihood of the predator
itself receiving any damage.
It's the precise stilleto approach of a skilled assassin, rather than the messy
slashing approach of a
maniac with a machete.
GIS / Archaeologist http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com