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Re: Theropod Forelimb Reduction
Nicholas Renaud <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> After reading the new Raptorex paper,
> I was wondering if anyone knows of a specific reference
> discussing the hypothesis that forelimb reduction is
> correlated with increasing body size? For example, this
> trend is potentially present in tyrannosaurids in which
> small forelimbs are a result of large body size.
Hmmm... didn't the _Raptorex_ paper argue that forelimb reduction came *before*
the increase in body size in tyrannosauroid evolution?
An hypothesis similar to the one you mention was raised in a chapter of the
book "Tyrannosaurus rex, the Tyrant King" by Lockley, Kukihara and Mitchell.
("Why Tyrannosaurus rex Had Puny Arms: An Integral Morphodynamic Solution to a
Simple Puzzle in Theropod Paleobiology"). The authors argued that
tyrannosaurids had small forelimbs simply because
they had such large heads (due to "the morphodynamic compensation between head
and forelimbs"). I don't buy it myself, and I don't expect this hypothesis to
garner much support.
BTW, forelimb reduction is very prevalent among theropods, both small and
large, avian and non-avian.