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Re: Alvarezsaur spurs (was Re: dino-lice)
2011/4/20 Don Ohmes <email@example.com>:
> 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?
Great viewpoint, analyzing morphology in the dynamics of ontogeny.
Well, you have kangaroos using powerful forelimbs as young to get a
grasp on their mother. These forelimbs later become proportionally
reduced with the development of other body parts. Previously I
proposed alvarezsaurs may use their forelimbs to fix to larger
dinosaurs to get free travel. But, it may be that young alvarezsaurs
fixed this way to the adults of their species.