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Archie's behavior: speculations

>>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?

Protofeathers were probably present somewhere in the ancestry of birds, but
how far back is currently impossible to resolve.

I think (on a speculative level) that the idea of birds as juvenilized
dinosaurs makes sense to me, and that juveniles of some maniraptorans
(coelurosaurs? theropods? saurischians? dinosaurs?  who knows how far back)
had some kind of phi (=beta) keratin fluffy integument.

Archie, in this scenario, would have been a lot more like small Felis
species than like Panthera: probably didn't use the killing kick as often
(or at all?) as its relatives.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661