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Basal Theropod Arm Position



A hypothetical question for y'all: in what position, d'you think, would a basal 
theropod, such as a coelophysoid, hold its arms while swimming?  Given the 
absence of the bird-like wing-folding ability at all joints, and given the 
relatively limited flexibility at the shoulders and elbows described by 
Carpenter (2002), what's the alternative in order to prevent the arms from 
acting as baffles and maximize hydrodynamicity?  Would they be kept swept 
backward, croc-like?  Even if Carpenter's limits are off, which I might expect 
based on the more recent works that have shown that dinosaurs probably had 
great, heaping gobs o' cartilage at the joints, which likely enhanced mobility, 
I still don't see coelophysoids having anything close to a wing-like folding 
ability...

Carpenter, K. 2002. Forelimb biomechanics of nonavian theropod dinosaurs in 
predation; pp. 59–76 in Gudo, M., Gutmann, M., and Scholz, J. (eds.), Concepts 
of Functional, Engineering and Constructional Morphology. Senckenbergiana 
Lethaea 82. E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Frankfurt. 

-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology
Dixie State College
Science Building
225 South 700 East
St. George, UT  84770   USA
Phone: (435) 652-7758
Fax: (435) 656-4022
E-mail: jharris@dixie.edu
and     dinogami@gmail.com
http://cactus.dixie.edu/jharris/


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                         -- Bernice Lewis