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Re: Kickboxing Cassowary (funny)

I currently think perhaps dromaeosaurids used their ungual more in the
sense of modern Neornithes (i.e., kicking each other during mating,
killing snakes, defending from predators by kicking, etc.) than to
bring down dinosaurs larger than themselves, which is less likely the
primitive function for digit II pedal ungual in Neornithes.

I said in other thread that Deinonychus teeth were relatively small,
as in Archaeopteryx, so that it seems difficult for it to tear pieces
of the prey to later swallow. They do not seem to have powerful jaw
musculature as to tear out the flesh from the prey. At least, that
state of things seem to fit better with the dromaeosaurs killing prey
not much larger than themselves.

Now, if dromaeosaurs were actually relatively slower than other, more
cursorial coelurosaurs (Ostrom 76'), because of the relatively short
metatarsus, and if they can not fly (whether primarily or secondarily
non-flyers, although I lean towards the first), I suppose it would be
more important for them to defend when facing a predator, and so to
use claws more defensively than offensively. After all, defense may
explain most enlargements of pedal unguals in non-avian Dinosauria
(e.g., Therizhinosauridae, Iguanodon, "prosauropods") as well as the