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I wanted to put some reptilian races in my world, but I'm not sure how to give them the arms needed to hold weapons. From what I can tell, reptiles don't have flexible shoulders like mammals, which is why most of them move in similar ways as opposed to mammals. Is there any way to for reptiles to evolve shoulders and arms with a similar range of movement to animals like primates?

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  • $\begingroup$ Surprisingly, even the much-maligned T Rex arms were likely quite flexible history.com/news/…. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Sep 3, 2020 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ Also, over geological time, we and birds evolved from reptiles, so your reptiles could have any arms evolutionary pressure can make. Do your reptilians need to be therapsids (like dinosaurs and birds), or can they be synapsid (like the permian proto-mammals)? BTW lots of people have asked about theories of reptilian humanoid evolution. Some even believe in it. quora.com/Are-reptilians-just-evolved-dinosaurs $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Sep 3, 2020 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ @DWKraus What difference would them being synapsids make (I'm not the best expert in Permian anatomy)? Also, I'm not looking for a reptilian that looks humanoid. Just one that can move its arms a decent amount. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2020 at 6:56

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If reptiles evolve sufficient intelligence to create tools, they'd probably evolve similarly flexible shoulders.

Just look at dinosaurs and birds, which are descended from reptiles. The bipedal dinosaurs had a range of motion similar to humans, and birds have a range of motion greater than that of humans.

Likewise, many mammals have a fairly pathetic range of motion in the forelegs, when it comes to sticking the legs out to the side. Ungulates have less motion side-to-side than lizards.

The range of mobility of each joint is something that can evolve rather quickly in response to an actual need for that mobility.

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