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Re: alverezsaurs (was dino-lice)

Ronald Orenstein <ron.orenstein@rogers.com> wrote:

> While it is surely unlikely that the forelimb was not simply a display
> structure, this does not mean that it was not the result of sexual selection
> (either for fighting rivals or grappling during copulation)?  If that is the
> case I suspect that it is highly unlikely that we will ever discover how it 
> was
> used, as the use may simply not have been analogous with any structure on a
> living animal.

I very much agree that the alvarezsaur forelimbs might not be
analogous with any structure on a living animal.  But I find
non-trophic functions (such as claspers, display structures, or
weapons used in intraspecific combat) unconvincing.  As well as the
highly derived modifications to the forelimb there were also radical
changes to the skull/dentition compared to the "typical"
coelurosaurian condition.  I would be surprised if the two weren't