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Re: Kickboxing Cassowary (funny)
Isn't it a bit overdesigned for that?
If it performs well those missions, it would be good enough. I see
three refinements in dromaeosaur unguals: a) large relative size, b)
curvature, c) cutting edge. All these can function well for stabbing a
biting small mammal, lizard, or Protoceratops juvenile. Many mating or
defensive weapons are relatively large (not to talk about horns).
Still looks overdesigned, especially the cross-section.
"Dromaeosaurine" teeth (found in Dromaeosaurinae or some subset
dromaeosaurid phylogeny is currently a mess), on the other hand, are
to tyrannosauroid ones.
That may hold for Dromaeosaurus, but the fact that teeth in other
moslty complete dromaeosaurs are small (Deinonychus, Velociraptor)
indicates we should not extrapolate the habits of Dromaeosaurus as
suggested by its teeth to the other dromaeosaurs were the teeth are
not equally developed.
That's exactly what I'm saying: *Deinonychus* and *Velociraptor* have
Just in case, I was not saying that the teeth should be great to kill
the prey, just for tearing it apart once death (or not) for the sake
of swallowing a piece of meat. For tearing pieces of a large prey
apart teeth are commonly large (in scanvenging or predatory birds
there is a great tooth-like process in the tip of the bill for that
sake). I say you need relatively large teeth.
Or teeth that are good at cutting -- which don't need to be robust.
Makes sense, except that none of your examples have sickle-shaped claws.
Why would sickle-claws not to be cutting for defense? a cutting border
might help penetration. I suspect you refer to this aspect, as the
ungual is quite curved in prosauropods.
Curved, yes, but it just stabs instead of cutting. This holds even more so
for the straight claws of cassowaries and "iguanodontids". Special
adaptations for penetration are just not necessary -- and aren't found in
the large finger claws of dromaeosaurids, as far as I know.