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Re: New Deinocheirus specimens found, indicating basal ornithomimosaur

Luis Rey <luisrey@ndirect.co.uk> wrote:

> On top of that, it has a link to my very old Deinocheirus
> reconstruction. I have to say:  I think my head was not too far  off
> the "missing" material I might have heard the rumours of ..,
> somewhere...
> I simply CAN't wait  to have everything in my hands to do my own
> proper reconstruction.

Nor can I.  (By which I mean I can't wait for YOU do a proper reconstruction.)

As a large and rather bulky herbivore, the "terrible" forelimbs that
give _Deinocheirus_ its name are incongruous.  The manus is certainly
raptorial, and the forearm was capable of much more rotation than was
typical for ornithomimosaurs.  Overall, the _Deinocheirus_ forelimb is
fairly slender - so it was unlikely to have been used to grasp or hold
prey (which would be odd for a herbivore in any case).

My guess is that _Deinocheirus_ used its long "raptorial" forelimbs as
a defensive weapon against approaching predators.  Unlike the smaller
and more cursorial ornithomimosaurs, big _Deinocheirus_ wasn't blessed
with speed.  So, like the comparably sized _Therizinosaurus_ (which
was probably even bulkier), _Deinocheirus_ might have used its long
forelimbs to help keep potential attackers at a safe distance.