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Re: Alvarezsaur spurs (was Re: dino-lice)

On 4/20/2011 3:46 AM, Tim Williams wrote:

I don't want to extrapolate too much from this,
because alvarezsaurs are not mammals; but an exclusively
myrmecophagous diet is hard to accord with the high BMRs indicated by
the highly cursorial proportions of alvarezsaurs.

Ah yes, the tall, bipedal, highly cursorial, long-necked, long tailed anteater with nest-destroying arms just slightly longer than it's head and considerably shorter than it's neck -- who could not be convinced by such a picture? :)

To take a slightly different tack -- is there support in the extant biosphere for a scenario in which the arms were relatively longer and hence more useful in this creature's early lifestages? In other words, do we know of animals (preferably avian) wherein one part of the body is necessary when juvenile but is outgrown by the rest of the body and becomes "vestigial" as they become adults?