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Re: Do we have dromaeosaurid evolution backward?



On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 7:53 PM, Renato Santos <dracontes@gmail.com> wrote:

> Not that I haven't entertained the notion of Ornitholestes as a basal
> dromaeosaur(id) ever since I noticed it had the incipient sickle claw.


Not to contradict you here, but although _Ornitholestes_ has
traditionally been regarded as a predator (including the day it was
named), Zanno & Makovicky (2010) found that _Ornitholestes_'s
characters did not correlate with a hypercarnivorous diet.  Instead,
_Ornitholestes_ was interpreted by this study as a possible herbivore
or omnivore.  Add to that the rather weak cursorial abilities of
_Ornitholestes_  (especially compared to similar-sized coelurosaurs
like _Coelurus_), and you have a "traditional form" that was arguably
more similar to _Falcarius_ in its habits than to dromaeosaurids.





Cheers

Tim