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Perhaps the absence of a keel is due to the lack or poor preservation of
cartilige. If Archy represents basal flying dino/birds, the structure
that tethered flying muscles could have been reduced and made of a
material that didn't preserve. If I am not mistaken, there are only a few
specimens of Archy and most are fragmentary at that. Could it be that we
haven't the cartilaginous proto-keel?
On Fri, 27 Jan 1995, Taylor,Rod;=8728883 wrote:
> One fact seems to be regularly forgotten in these Archie discussions
> whenever they occur - he/she couldn't have 'flown' in the trus sense. No
> keel! That rather large, cartilagenous hunk of white stuff that all the
> white meat is attached to on your Christmas turkey (no sarcasm intended -
> sorry in that came across the wrong way!). In the fossils of
> Archaeopteryx I've seen, I've never seen traces of the keel, which is an
> anchor for the large muscles required to power wing-driven flight. Now,
> this doesn't answer to the possibility that Archie was a glider - just
> hold those suckers out there, and let the currents carry you out there.
> But this would reflect on them being able to get to areas where they
> would be able to take advantage of these currents, i.e. climbing trees.
> Oh, what a tangled web we weave...
> Rod Taylor
> Earth Sciences Dept.
> Memorial University of Newfoundland