STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 May 2013

Looking at the Hands

Nobu Tamura with another quality illustration
As I mentioned with Australovenator, the claw may be in the wrong place on this animal. It turns out that the original placement, on the foot (Australovenator's is on the hand but I said it could turn out it is a foot claw with further study and specimens), was incorrect and the largest claw of Fukuiraptor has been reassigned as a hand claw. This illustration does not show the claw anywhere; it would appear larger than the other claws, presumably, considering how large it was considered to be in terms of a claw. Regardless of the size of the claw, what is most important about this version of the illustrated animal is how the body appears overall. The body, we can see, is very carnosaurian rather than dromaeosaurian in its posture. Only a few years earlier this animal would have been held in a much different posture given its much different classification.

Shiraishi's Allosaurid version
The Allosaurid version of the posture is a little more current. Carnosaurian horizontal backed and the previous dromaeosaurian angled approach to posture, like many past representations of dinosaurs, have gone by the wayside now. This more active Allosaur-like posture seem to be much more in line with the current hypotheses of this dinosaur's lifestyle. I am not sure if the gigantic feet and the Allosaur skull are exactly proper, but perhaps they are more accurate than I feel they are when all is said and done. I do, however, love the highly energetic and agile appearance of the posture of Allosaurs. Fukuiraptor as its region's apex predator would have needed such agility and thus this portrayal is probably quite accurate. Again, the assumption is made that all of the hand claws were of the same size and, given the size of the animal, are actually not as large as one would assume for a dromaeosaur making the original description as such rather strange. We can read that description Tuesday, I hope, and see what Azuma and Currie saw that made them say as such.

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