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Re: Kickboxing Cassowary



I am also not certain about whether the keratin formed a cutting edge
in the raptorial talon. Manning et al. (2006) note that does not occur
in Recent archosaurs.

However, apparently the ventral border of the bone core is more acute
in some dromaeosaurs than in most other animals, so that it can be
inferred that the keratin sheath was also apparently edged.

I do not dispute you that keratin and bronze easily lost their cutting
edge, but in the case of keratin, this tissue ever grows, and can be
sharpened. After all, predatory birds' beaks cut flesh and their
border is keratinous.

However, I do not think raptors slashed: Manning et al. (2006)
indicated it is difficult for these unguals not only slashing, but
even to completely sunk into pork flesh. Perhaps pork hide is quite
tough, but if accepting a cutting edge for the the ungual, the
perforating action should have been helped.

Reference:
Manning, P. L., Payne, D., Pennicott, J., Barrett, P. M. and Ennos, R.
A. 2006. Dinosaur killer claws or climbing crampons? Biological
Letters 2: 110-112.