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Re: More Holtz on the origin of birds
In a message dated 95-12-07 12:10:26 EST, Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
>Among advanced coelurosaurs, there evolved a clade specializing in
>grapple-and-slash predation (as found today in big cats). This clade
>retained the primitive features of long, grasping arms, furculae, unciates
>(maybe?). This group was selected for reduced speed but increased agility,
>taking the tetanurine trend of a distally stiffened tail to an extreme and
>selecting for a reorganization of the pelvic girdle.
>One branch of this clade, composed of the smaller members, were scansorial
>predators. This lineage includes Archaeopteryx. The adaptations, already
>acquired for a particular form of predation, were exapted for flight.
Methinks the step from grapple-and-slash to flight was way too radical for
this scenario. Where do the feathers come in?