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Biol Lett. 2006 Mar 22;2(1):110-2.

Dinosaur killer claws or climbing crampons?

Author information

1
School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science and The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. phil.manning@manchester.ac.uk

Abstract

Dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs possess a strongly recurved, hypertrophied and hyperextensible ungual claw on pedal digit II. This feature is usually suggested to have functioned as a device for disembowelling herbivorous dinosaurs during predation. However, modelling of dromaeosaurid hindlimb function using a robotic model and comparison of pedal ungual morphology with extant analogue taxa both indicate that this distinctive claw did not function as a slashing weapon, but may have acted as an aid to prey capture.

PMID:
17148340
PMCID:
PMC1617199
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2005.0395
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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