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RE: Kickboxing Cassowary

 I've had training with edged weapons, like knives and swords, so I just wanted 
to comment briefly on this issue. Mechanical "simulations" aside, I think the 
enlarged pedal claw seen in "velociraptorine" dromaeosaurids would have been 
far more versatile than most think. The claw is long enough for a simple stab 
to have been fatal to most human sized animals. With a human being, a 3 inch 
deep stab virtually anywhere on the body can be potentially fatal. Typically, a 
stab or cut wound will open up twice as wide as it is deep; meaning a two inch 
deep cut can open four inches wide. Now dromaeosaurs would'nt have be able to 
stab the full length of the claw into its prey and cut, for the same reason I 
would'nt be able to stab the full length of a 3 inch folder into someone's body 
and expect to be able to cut; there is just too much resistance from muscle and 
connective tissue. However, it would have been able to plant just the tip into 
the skin and make long, shallow cuts, which
 individually may have not been fatal, but the camulative effect from multible 
cuts would have been devestating. The claw could have been raked repeatadly in 
the same wound, eventually rapturing the abdominal wall, which would have 
spilled the intestines, or all over the body to cause blood loss. This is 
analogous to some knife fighting techniques, where you either use the edge to 
creat shallow, but painful and bloody cuts, or you can stab in hopes of 
puncturing an internal organ. So as long as it had some kind of cutting edge, I 
think they could have used their claws for both slashing or stabbing; the 
slashes just wouldn't have been as dramatic as many used to think. When I 
consider all this, dromaeosaurids are horrifying to imagine. A raptor like 
Deinonychus would have easily been able to gut a human with a single kick, or 
pin a man down while peircing its claws through the rib cage and into the 
lungs... ouch.

 Regarding whether or not a "raptor" pack could bring down a very large animal, 
all you need to do is watch this> 
and this> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2FPG2wXhXY&feature=related

Simeon Koning

> Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 20:24:20 -0300
> From: augustoharo@gmail.com
> Subject: Re: Kickboxing Cassowary
> To: dannj@alphalink.com.au
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> 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.