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Article: Forelimb function in Ornitholestes hermanni Osborn (Dinosauria, Theropoda)

Publication: Palaeontology
Volume: 49
Part: 5
Publication Date: September 2006
Page(s): 1029 1034
Author(s): Phil Senter
Addition Information

How to Cite

SENTER, P. 2006. Forelimb function in Ornitholestes hermanni Osborn (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Palaeontology49, 5, 1029–1034.

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Ornitholestes hermanni is a Late Jurassic theropod dinosaur from North America. This kinematic study of Ornitholestes uses manual manipulations of forelimb casts to determine range of motion. The manual phalanges of the O. hermanni holotype, previously unidentified, are here identified as phalanges I-1, I-2 (ungual), II-2 and II-3 (ungual). At all represented manual joints, hyperextensibility is small or absent, whereas flexion is strong, as in most other theropods. The elbow can be strongly flexed beyond a right angle. When data on range of forelimb motion in Ornitholestes are added to such data from other theropods, high elbow flexion is present in maniraptoriform coelurosaurs but not in basal theropods. Forelimb functions requiring strong elbow flexion (such as holding objects to the chest, or tucking the forearms in for their protection or to reduce wind resistance or heat loss) were therefore available to maniraptoriform coelurosaurs but not to basal theropods.
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