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Re: Dilophosaurus Forelimb Bone Maladies

Why then have forelimbs that are so exceptionately prone to pathology, including such injuries as would result from use of the forelimb in predation (e.g. the probable avulsion on the left thumb), if they weren’t actually of much use for that purpose? Generally, one would expect a structure that gets used frequently in activity involving significant stresses to be particularly prone to injury.

Potential activity-related forelimb pathology in this and other theropods could very well be a direct result of their strenuous activity, the animal’s ability to survive without them notwithstanding (unless the argument was only that they weren’t so useful that they were absolutely essential to the animal’s survival).

Nobody would claim that a crocodile’s jaws aren’t all that useful for predation after all, and yet there is ample documentation of crocodiles that survived having their snouts bitten off.

On 26.02.2016 02:44, Tim Williams wrote:
The authors propose that during the long healing period, the use of
the forelimbs by this smashed-up_Dilophosaurus_   was severely
compromised.  But it wasn't fatal.  This supports the interpretation
that theropod forelimbs were not all that useful for predation - even
when the forelimbs were healthy and undamaged.

Yours sincerely,

Darius Nau