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Re: So-called sickle claws

At 09:41 AM 10/2/97 -0500, Casey wrote:
>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.


>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.

Gee, where have I heard that one before... :-)

If you are looking for an analogue for dromaeosaurid claws, you may wish to
examine the claws of cats.  (Which brings us back to the start of this
thing, I think).

P.S.  If you want an analogue for raptorial bird claws among non-avian
theropods, tyr the claws of allosaurus, _Dryptosaurus_, etc.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661