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Re: New Deinocheirus specimens found, indicating basal ornithomimosaur

Scott Selberg <ssselberg@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Perhaps the forelimbs of ornithomimosaurs were used primarily for
> intraspecific battles and display, like antlers. That's what I've always
> thought...

The wing-like structures on the forelimbs of adult ornithomimids
(e.g., TMP 1995.110.1) might certainly have been used for display (or
some other reproductive-related process).  They don't appear to have
been much good for any locomotory purpose. However, the forelimbs
themselves were likely used in procuring food, given the length of the
hands and the retention of claws - maybe the forelimbs were helped
bring branches within reach of the mouth.

In the course of theropod evolution, big gaudy feathers on the
forelimb (and tail?) might have replaced the bony head-crests of more
basal theropods for the purposes of sexual display.