Skip to comments.Dinosaurs with killer claws yield new theory about flight
Posted on 12/14/2011 3:48:16 PM PST by decimon
BOZEMAN, Mont. -- New research from Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies has revealed how dinosaurs like Velociraptor and Deinonychus used their famous killer claws, leading to a new hypothesis on the evolution of flight in birds.
In a paper published Dec. 14 in PLoS ONE, MSU researchers Denver W. Fowler, Elizabeth A. Freedman, John B. Scannella and Robert E. Kambic (now at Brown University in Rhode Island), describe how comparing modern birds of prey helped develop a new behavior model for sickle-clawed carnivorous dinosaurs like Velociraptor.
"This study is a real game-changer," said lead author Fowler. "It completely overhauls our perception of these little predatory dinosaurs, changing the way we think about their ecology and evolution."
The study focuses on dromaeosaurids; a group of small predatory dinosaurs that include the famous Velociraptor and its larger relative, Deinonychus. Dromaeosaurids are closely related to birds, and are most famous for possessing an enlarged sickle-claw on digit two (inside toe) of the foot. Previous researchers suggested that this claw was used to slash at prey, or help climb up their hides, but the new study proposes a different behavior.
"Modern hawks and eagles possess a similar enlarged claw on their digit 2's, something that hadn't been noted before we published on it back in 2009," Fowler said. "We showed that the enlarged D-2 claws are used as anchors, latching into the prey, preventing their escape. We interpret the sickle claw of dromaeosaurids as having evolved to do the same thing: latching in, and holding on."
As in modern birds of prey, precise use of the claw is related to relative prey size.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
I believe that this is similar to the claws of the IRS and the Senate ‘Rats.
Eventually I may fly!
The super computers in my DNA are evaluating the utility of the process ~
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Try keeping it down to one drink before meals and you should be okay. ;>)
something that hadn't been noted before we published on it back in 2009
I am at a total loss to understand how something as fundamental as modern hawks and eagles possessing a similar enlarged claw on their digit 2's not being noted in a comparison with dinosaurs. Unless, it was omitted as part of a deliberate attempt discredit birds as descendants of dinosaurs, I can not fathom the claw of birds not being part of any comparison.
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