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Archaeopteryx teeth, claws and their TV viewing habits



   I'm curious about some statments:

>1. Archaeopteryx had feathers identical to those of modern birds, whereas
>theopods had none

   I thought I read/saw somewhere that Archaeopteryx feathers lacked a
feature in modern birds that allows the feathers to lock with each of its
neighbors.  Anybody know if this is true?  (We need not address whether
theropods in general had feathers.  I know what to say about that.)

>2. Archaeopteryx had a hypertrophied furcula (fused clavicles);theropods do
>not have one

   The modifier "hypertrophied" throws me a bit.  Is this modifier
necessary, or would all furculae be considered "hypertrophied?"  I'm curious
if the use of the word "hypertrophied" would cause problems in trying to use
the furculae of Oviraptors and Allosaurs as a rebuttal.

>3. Manus claws of Archaeopteryx differ markedly from those of predatory
>dinosaurs (Feduccia, 1993)

   Anybody know if this is true?  If so, does it really matter?  I thought
there were all sorts of different claws in the Dinosauria.  I'm also curious
as to how similar the claws are to Dromaeosaurid claws.

>4. Archaeopteryx had a fully reversed hallux, the large rear toe, with a
>strongly curved claw on the ungual phalanx, which is typical of modern
>perching birds and unlike any known theropod dinosaur (Feduccia, 1993)

   I don't think we need to rehash all of this, but I would like to know
what "ungual phalanx" means, and whether other dinosaurs had them.

>5. Although Archaeopteryx had teeth, the crowns of its teeth were
>unserrated, the waist present, the root expanded, and the tooth replacement
>resorption pit oval to circular. On the other hand, in the reptiles
>Pseudosuchia and Coelurosauria, the crowns were serrated, the waist absent,
>the root straight and unexpended, and tooth replacement resorption pit
>elongate (Brown 1987, p. 78)

   I have no bloody idea what any of this means.  Comments?  Did all
dinosaurs have the same kind of tooth replacement mechanism, thus making
this important/unimportant?

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