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Re: beaks, teeth, gastroliths, unzipper-foot-claws
Kiwis are not an exception, and require careful handling (I know, because I
have held one). Their feet are very strong.
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2
----- Original Message ----
From: Dann Pigdon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:23:20 PM
Subject: Re: beaks, teeth, gastroliths, unzipper-foot-claws
On Tue, Jul 28th, 2009 at 10:16 AM, B tH <email@example.com> wrote:
> I wish we could have got the cassowary docu here in the states - I'll look
> for it online. If
> these guys can use their feet in a deadly way then surely the 'terror birds'
> could have?
Most modern ratites will use their feet for defense if they have no other
choice (I'm assuming kiwi's
are an exception!), however cassowaries have specialised inner toe claws
roughly the size and
shape of a large carving knife.
Here's a rather frightening image:
As far as I know, 'terror birds' had no such specialised toe. However ostriches
and emus (which
also lack a 'killing claw') can also do a fair amount of kicking damage. Then
again, they don't have
a terrifyingly hooked beak to fall back on.
GIS / Archaeologist Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj