If, like me, you enjoy making fun of people with disproportionately tiny forearms by yelling, “Hehe dinosaur arms!” whenever they enter a room – that shit just got a whole lot more amusing. In a paper published by the very impressive PLoS One on Tuesday, a set of theropod ichnofossils have been discovered at an early Jurassic site in Utah, further supporting one of the best-kept secrets in the Palaeontological community. This find includes unambiguous traces of the Theropod’s hindfeet, forefeet and tail, placing the probable Coelophysoid in a resting position. Special as this might already be, because most Theropod ichnofossils only capture the hindfeet and tail, it also indicates the hand posture and wrist-manipulation of this particular group of dinosaurs. So as shown in the reconstruction above, the Theropod would rest its hands not stabby-claws-down, as popular opinion would have you believe, but palms-up, supported by their outer fingers and wrists. This type of hand posture would remain relatively unchanged when the Theropod stood upright and lurked around, holding its hands with the palms facing each other. Evidently, the Theropods had really shitty wrist-twisting ability, and if you told them to pronate and/or supinate their arms for a dollar, they’d probably tell you to fuck off and then eat you. Well, the mean ones would anyway.
To put it another way, they’d walk around permanently looking like they’re about to break into a hearty round of applause, but never actually following through. Bless them. You’d see one start to approach you from behind a nearby conifer, but instead of being frightened that it might run over and furiously claw your face off with its tiny no-arms, you should probably expect it to run over and cuddle your face (or accidentally-on-purpose poke your boobs, depending on whether or not there was a bet with his friends in place). This means all the Therapods in my room are living a lie. It also means the Land of the Dinosaurs was probably just a massive hug-fest, the only thing you’d have to fear was a rogue Velociraptor who’d drunk too much and forgot to put his talons away before going in for a wobbly cuddle.
Visit The Open Source Paleontologist for a far more comprehensive explanation of the paper, and When Pigs Fly Returns for some demonstrative wrist exercises that you can do at your desk (the kind that won’t get you fired).