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Re: beaks, teeth, gastroliths, unzipper-foot-claws




> 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.

Seriemas have a bit of both:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Cariama_cristataPCCA20051227-2025A.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5b/Seriamanail.jpg

(Which does not fit very will with the recent mol-data-based proposal that they 
are a kind of "missing link" between parrots, falcons and perching birds. The 
toe position of phorusrhacids is not well known - few if any associated 
material - though I'd have to look it up. A close phorusrhacid-seriema link is 
AFAIK better-supported, meaning that if phoros had a "raptor claw" of sorts, it 
might well be possible to tell from the arrangement of tibiotarsal trochleae)


Regards,

Eike