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Re: origin of birds
I normally don't like to do homework for people, but since
Stan is such a great contributor to discussions here...
Stan Friesen wrote:
[requests for references deleted]
Heilmann, G., 1926. The Origin of Birds, Appleton, NY
Bock, W. J., 1985. The Arboreal Theory for the Origin of Birds.
Feduccia, A., 1980. The Age Of Birds. Harvard U Press, Camb., MA.
Feduccia, A., 1979. Feathers of Archaeopteryx: asymmetric vane
indicates aerodynamic function. Science, 203:1021-1022.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pterosaurs. Dr. Peter Wellnhofer.
Crescent Books, 1991. (see section on other flying vertebrates)
Discover magazine had an article called "Ruffled Feathers" in the
May 1992 edition. Some of Martin's historical arguements are reviewed
as well as those of Sam Tarsitano(SW Texas St.), who presents a good
arguement against flight in dinosaurs based on body proportions.
Basically, dinosaur hips stick out too much and their center of
gravity is too far back on their body. "Go out and buy a toy glider
and take the little weight they put on the front and put it on the
back. It will flip over when you try to fly it. Really, to make it
like a dinosaur you should put two or three weights on".
I also found some reactions to Feduccia's latest study in Science,
vol 259, Feb. 1993. "Archaeopteryx: Early Bird Catches a Can of Worms."
Paul Sereno and Gauthier take shots at Feduccia's study, but Ostrom
seems to be softening in preparation for a recant.
Larry Martin displayed his skeletal reconstruction on NOVA, The Case
for the Flying Dinosaur(probably about 2 years ago?). He also mentioned
that he would eventually be glad to supply copies. I wouldn't mind
tinkering with one myself.
For those who speak German, there are scores of articles written over
decades on Archaeopteryx and the arboreal origin of birds. (Note: all
Archie fossils have come from the Solnhofen-Eichstatt region in Germany.)
I would also recommend:
Early Evolution of Avian Flight and Perching: New Evidence from the
lower Cretaceous of China. P. Sereno and Rao Chenggang. Science, vol255
14 Feb 1992.