Deviant Login Shop
 Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour
×



Details

Submitted on
September 16, 2010
Image Size
290 KB
Resolution
2121×1449
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
3,347
Favourites
28 (who?)
Comments
15
Downloads
32
×
"Raptor" Hands by Albertonykus "Raptor" Hands by Albertonykus
Earlier I covered in detail the plumage of deinonychosaurs ("raptors") and the many errors that often occur in artwork featuring them. Here, I'll talk about the function of their hands.

It is a popular idea that deinonychosaurs could use their hands to hold things. This is partly true. Deinonychosaurs could hold things two handed with the wrists flexed and bring food up to the mouth. However, they couldn't hold things with just one hand. The only known exception to this is Bambiraptor feinbergi, which could do this by pinching its first and third fingers together.

Deinonychosaurs had another way of holding things, and that was clutching towards the chest. They could only do this one handed. It's important to note that deinonychosaurs had big feathers attached to their second finger. This wasn't a problem when holding things two handed, because the feathers point down while the palms of deinonychosaurs face inwards most of the time. When deinonychosaurs clutched objects to the chest, however, the wrist extended. And when this happened, the palm rotated to point upwards. If a deinonychosaur tried to use both hands to clutch towards the chest, one wing would block the other. By the way, it might also be important to note that some deinonychosaurs, particularly the small flying ones like Microraptor zhaoianus, had such long primaries that they probably had to hold their hands out to the sides or the feathers would drag on the ground. These deinonychosaurs probably didn't use their hands for manipulating things much at all, probably only using their wing claws to help them climb trees.

Some people refuse to put feathers on the heads of deinonychosaurs for the reason that cleaning the head may have been problematic. But deinonychosaurs had no difficulty in reaching and cleaning the head with their wing claws. They could reach back and scratch their legs, too. They couldn't scratch their backs with their wing claws, but they could probably manage that with their teeth. Note that different deinonychosaurs had different limb proportions. Deinonychus antirrhopus could only bring food to its mouth or scratch its head when its head was lowered, but Bambiraptor feinbergi could reach its face even with its head upright.

Deinonychosaurs may have been able to reach for prey items hiding inside crevices with their fingers. However, they could only do this with the third finger and if the surface they were probing was perpendicular to the direction the palm was facing, or the wing feathers would have gotten in the way. They couldn't use the second finger because of the feathers attached to it, and the first finger was too short.

It's likely that deinonychosaurs could swing their forelimbs back and forth to use their wing feathers in a visual display.

Because of the wing feathers, deinonychosaurs couldn't get their hands anywhere near the ground. They couldn't dig with the wing claws or pick up objects from the ground. Traces of deinonychosaurs digging for mammals have been identified, and they use the foot claws for this activity instead. And I can only suppose that they only used their hands for holding food if it was too big to be swallowed in one piece or if the mouth was preoccupied with something else such as snapping at a rival. Therefore, the manipulation of objects by the hands would've played a largely secondary role to the jaws.

Edit: Just found out that this was mentioned on TV Tropes. Thanks for the recognition!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbubblekirby:
bubblekirby Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012
Why do raptor hands&wings have to move together?
Reply
:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012
Wing feathers (or at least some of them) attach to the hands. Here's a diagram showing how the wing feathers of modern birds attach ([link]), and we know from fossils that deinonychosaurs were similar.
Reply
:iconjd-man:
JD-man Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2011
"By the way, it might also be important to note that some deinonychosaurs, particularly the small flying ones like Microraptor zhaoianus, had such long primaries that they probably had to hold their hands out to the sides or the feathers would drag on the ground. These deinonychosaurs probably didn't use their hands for manipulating things much at all, probably only using their wing claws to help them climb trees."

Makes sense, given how microraptorines probably killed their prey ("skewering it with the sickle claw in the manner of modern secretary birds, perhaps": [link] ).
Reply
:icontyrannosaurusprime:
TyrannosaurusPrime Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
The Dromaeosaur from the 2nd pic looks like he is ashamed............:XD:
Reply
:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
Haha! XD
Reply
:icontyrannosaurusprime:
TyrannosaurusPrime Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011
Either that or he is doing this: :icondoublefacepalmplz: :lol::XD:
Reply
:iconmystafreya:
Mystafreya Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Honestly I was mad when they said they were like this. I still am. A Raptor to me will forever be the awesome ones from Jurassic park. Really biased, I know, but they look way less intimidating now.

Are these a certain type of Raptor?

They're still my favorite though.
Reply
:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
I don't know, being feathered doesn't make them less dangerous. And some birds can be pretty scary, especially the big ones. (I was once chased by a Canada goose. Still one of the scariest things ever.)

I based these on Deinonychus (it's my go-to generic dromaeosaurid).
Reply
:iconmystafreya:
Mystafreya Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010  Student Digital Artist
I just read about this thing, and other Raptors.

What really gets me is the interpretations I guess. the fact that these feathers are there, I have no problem, but it's also the placement ( I guess I would say ) and the length on the forearms. The fact that Deinonychus has the same thing going on is weird to me, since it's larger and hunts on land. Like ~Kazanlak10 was putting into question, wouldn't these feathers hinder its abilities as a predator more? I know, flightless birds have these claws ( right? ) but they can't kill anything like that, can they? They use their legs instead. Taking in the facotrs of evolution I see where it's all coming from. Just saying that, since Deinonychus is a land predator, the longer feathers there -- especially at the front -- make me question it.

I really think that it would make more sense for the feathers at its claws to be shorter at least. Where did they figure that they were that long?
I'd draw my interpretation, but I'm already trying to work on something right now. But do you get what I mean by I don't think they would be that long?

Also, yeah, you're right, I hate Geese LOL
Reply
:iconalbertonykus:
Albertonykus Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
We don't know what Deinonychus' feathers were like, but if other dromaeosaurids are any guide it had remiges. We don't know how long they were, but Velociraptor has quill knobs, which suggests that even flightless dromaeosaurids had pretty substantial remiges. Velociraptor wrestled a Protoceratops even with its huge remiges, and we know modern birds don't have trouble fighting and hunting: [link] The remiges might have been shorter than what I have given them in my drawing (we don't know), but they probably weren't ridiculously short (or even non existent) like in many, many renditions of dromaeosaurids I've seen, either.

Dromaeosaurid wing claws probably weren't their main weapons either way, they were just there for grooming, holding food that couldn't be eaten in one gulp, and climbing. Look at Microraptor, it couldn't even use them to hunt with. They probably used their hind claws to pin smaller prey as well as hang on to larger ones and let their jaws do the work. (A fairly recent paper shows that Deinonychus had a terribly strong bite for its size, on par with an alligator.)
Reply
Add a Comment: