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Re: tiny-armed theropods



On 10/7/2011 12:38 PM, Jason Brougham wrote:
I see, so you are suggesting that all theropods would benefit from reduction of 
their pectoral limbs if they could find a way to do without arms in feeding and 
brooding and whatnot, because it would make them more agile.

Not quite. I am observing that such reduction would allow "more" acceleration (*not* agility) in theropod taxa generally, given the base anatomical assumptions (low and cranial CM and a balance-beam biped).

Given the wide spectrum of viable lifestyles, I would not expect extreme accelerative ability to be an overwhelming factor in all theropod species.

It's just that dispensing with the arms' uses must have been impossible for 
many theropods, possibly for a large or even an innumerable set of interacting 
reasons.

That is true. Potential selective compromises abound, and appear to me to have occurred. And many theropods did indeed reduce their arms, and apparently their crania where possible...

Makes that big old T. rex head even more interesting.