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Re: Velociraptors - climbers

On Wed, Sep 16th, 2009 at 10:18 AM, Tor Bertin <nightimeshadow@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Bizarre that he would use that particular dinosaur as an example, given that 
> it primarily
> frequented very arid environments (which almost certainly didn't house enough 
> trees to allow for
> a kind of aerial attack niche for the animal).
> I agree that using it as a crampon was probably a definite function of the 
> claw, but saying that
> _Velociraptor_ preferentially did it from trees is probably not very 
> accurate. 
> (unless that statement wasn't actually in the paper itself, and was something 
> the author of that
> article added... I haven't had a chance to read the original unfortunately)

The actual paper uses the word 'dromaeosaurid' rather than 'Velociraptor' 
specifically in the title. It 
also appears to be based on biomechanical study of the manual claws moreso than 
the (in)famous 
pedal variety.

The abstract concludes "Enhanced climbing abilities of dromaeosaurid dinosaurs 
supports a 
scansorial phase in the evolution of flight." That would seem to indicate that 
dromaeosaur claws 
were *ancestorally* adapted for climbing, but doesn't seem to rule out 
exaptation in later, more 
derived forms.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj