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RE: dino-lice

  The longest the arms could be while being too short as to prevent them from 
being able to "dig" would be no longer than the depth of the chest from which 
they arise.

  Understand that only speaking from a functional sense, Senter's approach and 
my arguments so far only regard the degree to which the anatomy of the limbs 
themselves describe potential function. Placing size into concern, odder things 
arise. As the limbs would be no larger than some casuariid or apterygid 
ratites, which sport rather ineeffective "display" structures for said wings, I 
presume initially that display is unlikely. However, it should be noted that -- 
again -- Senter's limb posture describes a possible display aspect. this would 
then only be required to support much larger integument that the size of the 
limb itself be unimportant. I am not making an argument for or against this 


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Subject: Re: dino-lice
> From: jaseb@amnh.org
> Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2011 11:46:03 -0400
> CC: qi_leong@hotmail.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> To: jaseb@amnh.org
> In other words, how small would the arms have to be before we could all agree 
> that they couldn't be used for scratch digging? Right now we all agree 
> Shuvuuia would have to practically press its chest against anything it 
> touched with its arms, and that it couldn't see what its arms were doing. Yet 
> the bone shapes, alone, convince many that it was digging with the arms.
> What if the arms were a millimeter long and entirely embedded within the 
> skin? What if they were a micron long? Would the antebrachial anatomy still 
> persuade you that they were used for precision digging?
> Can you identify any downward size limit to your functional convictions?
> On Apr 21, 2011, at 11:35 AM, Jason Brougham wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> Regardless of the ridiculously undersized limbs,
> >>
> > What if we do regard them?
> Jason Brougham
> Senior Principal Preparator
> American Museum of Natural History
> jaseb@amnh.org
> (212) 496 3544