Dinosaur Claws

Dinosaur claws for digging and display, claim scientists from Bristol University and Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing, who carried out a biomechanical study of the claws of two types of theropod dinosaurs – alvarezsaurs and therizinosaurs. 

Alvarezsaurs were small dinosaurs, about the size of a chicken, with short robust arms with “a stout, rock-pick-like, single functional finger”.  Therizinosaurs were much larger, possibly up to 10 metres (33ft) long and had long slender fingers with long, thin sickle-like claws.

The research team made computer models of the claws based on CT scans.  They were then able to study how the claws responded to stress and strain using engineering methods and then compare them with claws of modern animals who use claws for pulling, piercing and digging.  The research concluded Alvarezsaur claws were good for digging, and suggested the dinosaurs dug into termite mounds and ant hills. 

However, the therizinosaur claws seemed to be too fragile to stand much stress, in spite of the common belief they were fierce predators.  Chun-Chi Liao, an expert on therizinosaurs from IVPP commented: “We all saw Therizinosaurus in ‘Jurassic World’ hitting deer and killing the giant predator Giganotosaurus. However, this is unlikely. These long, narrow claws were too weak for combat.  Our engineering simulation shows that these claws could not withstand much stress.” 

The computer models also indicated the therizinosaur claws they scanned were too fragile for pulling down tree branches, as other therizinosaurs are believed to have used their claws for.  Chun-Chi Liao went on to say, “so, we conclude that the largest claws of any animal ever were actually useless in mechanical function, and so must have evolved under sexual selection to be used in display. The adult Therizinosaurus I guess could wave the claws at a competitor and effectively say, ‘look at me, back off’ or wave them around in some way like a peacock can use its tail in display to attract females for mating.”

References: SciTechDaily 10 March 2023, University of Bristol Press Release 27 February 2023, Communications Biology 16 February 2023, doi: 10.1038/s42003-023-04552-4.

Editorial Comment:  Evolution by sexual selection is an idea promoted by Charles Darwin and perpetuated by evolutionists ever since, but it won’t work in the real world.  If an animal is already attractive enough to attract a mate and pass on its genes it does not need to develop any new features.  Being unattractive to the opposite sex will not make any new features evolve. 

It is far more sensible to consider what practical function the long therizinosaur claws could have.  Genesis tells us that all animals ate plants in the beginning.  Long thin claws would have been useful for cutting reeds, grasses, and soft shoots on trees and shrubs, or for cutting soft fruits. 

It is good see scientists realising that sharp claws do not make an animal a carnivore.  Alvarezsaurs would have used their digging claws to dig up roots and tubers to eat.  After Noah’s flood when the environment degenerated, and plants were not as nutritious, they may have dug up ant nests in order to get enough protein. 

Overall, dinosaur claws are better explained by knowing the real history of the world from the Creator’s record, than by any made up stories by atheistic scientists who weren’t there to observe these dinosaurs when they were alive.

Creation Research News 15 March 2023

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