[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: So-called sickle claws

I have to agree with Larry on this one.  I work with birds of prey and
their claw morphology is designed for quick puncturing and grasping so as
to prevent prey from escaping and struggling.  The design is interesting
in that it focuses the pressure into very fine points to ensure good
penetration, but the pressure comes from the fact that they are diving
from a pretty good height (I've heard about 1,000 psi for a Red-Tail hawk.
I'll have to check on that one, and with a Bald Eagle it is comparable to
a bullet piercing flesh).  With dromaeosaur claws they have a
proportionately larger claw which does focus some pressure in a fine
point, but as the claw enters the flesh it goes from being a fine point to
being a rather large object which is capable of *possibly* opening
(tearing, slashing, whatever) a fairly large wound. 

So you have a puncturing and grasping claw in raptors (the birds, for
clarification) and a puncturing and slashing claw in dromaeosaurids.

Just an idea.

Casey T.
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio

On Wed, 1 Oct 1997 akins@msu.oscs.montana.edu wrote:

> In the message you wrote 1-OCT-1997  00:59 you compared talons of raptors to 
> dromaeosaur claws.  I don't really think that was a real good comparison 
> because raptors' talons are used for grasping and holding prey, not cutting 
> or slashing like I've been saying about dromies.  It's probably worthless to 
> argue about my ideas because the truth will probably never be known, unless 
> by 
> some strange occurence the sheath was fossilized and found.  I'm just going 
> by some reproductions I've seen of the claw with the sheath.  In these the 
> sheath has lots of grooves in it.  
>        I'm definitely no expert on dromies (yet)
>    Larry "Raptor" Akins