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The ability to open doors depends on two things: 1) being able to grip the door handle and 2) being able to rotate the hand so that the door handle turns. Could a hungry Velociraptor turn a door handle to get at you, the delectable human in hiding?
Podcast Teaser: In the science fiction story Jurassic Park, the predatory dinosaurs known as Velociraptor are able to use their hands and arms to open doors behind which delectable people hide. My students often ask me if this could actually happen, and more generally, how much I liked Jurassic Park. My responses are, “no,” and “it was good science fiction!”
References / Further Information
- Crichton, M. 1990. Jurassic Park. Ballantine Books.
- Favsovsky, D. and Weishampel, D. 2009. Dinosaurs: a Concise Natural History. Cambridge University Press.
- Liem, K.F. et al. 2001. Functional Anatomy of the Vertebrates, 3rd Edition. Thomson-Brooks/Cole Publishers.
- Vazquez, R.J. 1994. The automating skeletal and muscular mechanisms of the avian wing. Zoomorphology, 114:59-71.
- Weishampel, D. et al. 2004. The Dinosauria, 2nd Edition. University of California Press.