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Thread: Dinosaurs with small arms

  1. #1 Dinosaurs with small arms 
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    Jan 2022

    I like how this article ends :

    [ex] "The definitive answer, then, might remain just barely out of reach. " [/ex]

    Various answers to this exist. One possibility that has traction is that T Rex used its forelimbs to get up when it fell down. Some have suggested it had something to do with holding a partner close during mating (however females also had these limbs.) Maybe the dinosaur sometimes had to climb a sloped hill in the mud?

    Another hypothesis has been that the limbs are simply vestigial like the wings of a flightless bird. However palaeontologists have found the arms were well muscled, which makes that hypothesis look unlikely, at least in part.

    Another hypothesis, kind of lost in the mix, is that maybe T Rex was more concerned with its offspring than we think. The forelimbs might serve a purpose similar to the forelimbs of a Kangaroo?

    My personal perspective is that maybe sometimes the T Rex killed creatures that were so small compared to it, that it couldn't bit a chunk off without picking up the whole animal. So the limbs could grab one part, and he could use his teeth to rip parts off? ... but even this isn't quite satisfying. Stepping on the animal with a hind limb would achieve the same result, I think.

    Anyway, I think it's a question worth discussing.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Double Helix's Avatar
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    Dec 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by The Raven;636091[COLOR=#000000

    Anyway, I think it's a question worth discussing.
    A good question. The retention of sharp claws should offer a clue. Would bet that they were used in feeding situations where mincing pieces was preferred. It could only manipulate so much with its mouth. Like having two permanent, sharp forks to help it feed. This might come in handy when scavenging picked over remains which still have some morsels on the bones.

    Tending to offspring should also be considered. Using their arms to make and feed small pieces to their young might have been very important. Small offspring could not have gulped large fragments like their parents.

    One thing is certain. We will never know for sure.

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  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Driving in my car
    Maybe having long arms and chasing prey through and around obstacles was like a buck with antlers trying negotiate its way around a forest…..don’t take that seriously. I was only trying to be different.

    I seem to remember reading that evolution has a habit of taking from one part to increase the size of another. T-Rex short limbs a great puzzle for palaeontologists to solve.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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