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Muchas Cosas

<<He told us some surprising ideas. He thing that Archaeopteryx 
wasn't a bird. Well, there are some intermediate taxa between the 
nonavian theropods and the group of the extant birds, the 
Ornithothoraces. And Archaeopteryx was one of them. It was really a 
bird, not only by the feathers.>>

What In was trying to say was that I believe that the 
Archaeopterigidae and the Dromeosauridae should be one in the 
same.  If one were to look at the bones of _Archaeopteryx 
lithographica_ and _Velociraptor antirrhopus_ (ya, ya 
_Deinonychus_) they should be put into the same family.  I propose 
the tail length definition of what an Avialaen is because it is a 
characteristic which can be measured in fossil bones, not an 
arbitrary soft part (feathers) whose existance cannot be known in any 
fossil taxa but one (and only two of seven at that).  I'm not saying 
that _Archaeopteryx_ isn't birdlike, or that it didn't fly; all I'm saying is

that it shouldn't be considered an Avialaen.

<<And, what's that? The Pterosauria are dinos? I think you are 
wrong. There are some intermediate groups bteween the dinos a
nd pterosaurs, and some of them aren't similar either to dinos nor 
Pterosaurs.  So you can't include the pterosaur inside the Dinosauria 
(or viceversus).>>

I'm sorry.  There I go again thinking along the same lines as Bob 
Bakker.  Please don't shun me.  I think that the cladistic label 
Dinosauria should stand with Bakker's definition because the old one 
(the most recent common ancestor of both the Saurischia and 
Ornthischia) leaves out two many.  Maybe erect another one, 
perhaps Eudinosauria for the most recent common ancestor of both 
the theropoda and ornithischia (this would work if Phytodinosauria is 
valid or not).  Can't all you professionals wait untill I'm a professional 
and can reap havok on taxonomy?

<<I would like your opinion of how the T-Rex obtained it's prey. Did it
stalk, chase it down, or rely on surprise attacks, or was it a
scavenger? I think it relied on surprise attacks. Please give me your
opinions. Thank you in advance. Gil>>

In my opinion it was definately a predator.  The arguments against 
scavenging are pretty strong.  My real problem in this debate is John 
Horner and reversion to creationistesque arguments.  Two of his main 
points that he never fails to mention in every documentary about _T. 
rex_ is that it a) would be stupid to give up meat that was already 
there, and b) would have lost all its teeth if it bit into the back of a 
_Triceratops_.  First of all... no one EVER said that _T. rex_ would 
not scavenge (this is creationistesque because it is putting words 
into peoples mouths that they did not say).  No animal would give up 
a free meal, especially the king of the jungle (and by golly. this king 
of the jungle actually lived in a jungle).  And second of all, no one 
ever said that _T. rex_ would attack anything by hankering down on 
its sacrum.  That _is_ stupid.  Greg Paul makes a great case for 
hunting theropods in his book _Predatory Dinosaurs of the World_.

I saw Apollo XIII tonight.  Damn good movie.  It's 2:00AM and 70 
degrees F outside.  Them cladistic charts of my opinions of dinosaur 
taxonomy are coming; don't worry, don't worry.

Peter Buchholz