Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I listened to a great item on CBC's Quirks and Quarks podcast today as I drove into work. It talked about a dinosaur with an opposable thumb, the Bambiraptor (Bambiraptor feinbergi). The opposable thumb was discovered by Dr. Phil Senter of Lamar State College in Orange Texas.
In the program he says that the Bambiraptor's capability would be limited as it had (hard) claws rather than soft finger pads. I'm not so sure. As I say in this e-mail to Dr Senter:


I've just caught the excellent item on Quirks about your work on Bambi Raptor. Very interesting and I wanted to raise one issue that you mentioned in passing. You said that humans had soft tissue on their hands which meant that they could pick up item with precision, but that the BambiRaptor had claws and that meant that they could only pick up soft things. "Fair enough" I thought. Then I thought "Chopsticks". I'm pretty good with chopsticks; the native Chinese and Japanese are really good. Sure enough, when eating I don't eat pebbles and rocks, but peanuts, even cooked, are pretty hard. Don't underestimate the BambiRaptor!

Best Regards


I'll let you know what happen to my chopstick contribution to palaeontology.

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