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Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)

Quoting don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>:

> 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.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com