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Jerry Harris writes:
>sketches of the feathers. If _Archaeopteryx_ retains such charateristic
>feathers for flight, then I have a difficult time believing that the animal
>didn't fly! Thus, I believe that the animal flew, although the small size
>of the sternum (whether or not it was ossified) must have made it a
>somewhat less graceful flier than modern birds. The fact that the sternum
>in only slightly younger birds (_Sinornis_, _Iberomesornis_, etc. on
>through _Ambiortus_) grew in size rapidly points only to the quick
>evolution of this trait to stabilize flight.
>Jerry D. Harris
>Denver Museum of Natural History
Or it may indicate a more derived sister group that predates _Archaeopteryx_.
In other words, Archaeopteryx may represent a plesiomorphic dead-end branch
in the Aves tree. If this is ever proven true, it wouldn't be the first
instance of this happening in fossil record.