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Re: BCF in perspective (long)



>        The big picture conjured by BCF just doesn't make sense to me, even
>without any speculative stories to explain the origin of flight, which
>(sans fossil evidence) are just stories, and inconsequential to the
>phylogeny (which must come first).
>                        John R. Hutchinson

May I point out that, as I see it, the question of exactly how flight
evolved is not at all the same as distinguishing between BCF, BADD or what
have you.  The arguments that I and others have raised here on flight vs.
gliding, say, have nothing to do with the phylogeny because we all agree
that the first bird ancestors must have looked and acted pretty much like,
say, Compsognathus whether they were Jurassic dinosaurs, Triassic protobirds
or what have you - in other words the arguments fit both theories.  So
despite the headings I do not think we have really been discussing BCF vs
BADD lately.

To me the real arguments over phylogeny relate not to the first flyers but
to the later theropods like Deinonychus.  As I understand it GO's arguments
for BCF relate to features of these creatures that he says point to a
birdlike or at least volant ancestor, such as claw number. arm mobility and
the like.  I posted some critiques of these suggestions a while back but
with all the traffic on the flight issue GO hasn't gotten around to dealing
with them (he assures me he intends to).  THEN we will really be discussing
BCF vs BADD, which I agree is a phylogenetic issue.
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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