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>So, is anyone aware of any work on the taphonomy of modern maritime bird
>species? (Finding a term that includes all species relevant is tricky, because
>individuals perhaps km away from a shoreline may still end up dead at sea.
>Island endemics, by the very nature of small islands, are most applicable, but
>near-shore coastal environments on continental mainlands are just as worthy,
>given that they too have an avifauna worth considering in such a study. I'd get
>to it myself, were I not burdened with a geology degree and a bunch of whale
>"We only come out at night - the day is much too bri-i-ight - oh we only come
>out at night"
>DARREN 'scruffy' NAISH

Paul Davies recently finished a PhuD at Bristol Uni which included a look at
the taphonomy of some dead shorebirds which he staked to various littoral
zones of a lagoon environment in Florida (no sub-tropical lagoons in
Blighty, more's the shame) to ask and answer all sorts of stuff relevant to
Achae.  There should be a paper by now (maybe Mike Benton or Jeremy Rayner
know what the story is).  He gave a paper at the 1992 V.Pal conference in
Bristol (organised by Mike Benton), so there should at least be an abstract.

At the risk of being a swamp publicist, I will mention that included in the
Eichstatt Conference that Jeffrey refered to (and which should really be a
first stop for anyone interested in this sort of stuff) is a paper by Tony
and Tim which tossed up an alternative to the more familiar theories:

Thulborn, R.A., and T.L. Hamley, "A New Palaeoecological Role for
Archaeopteryx", in "The Beginnings of Birds; Proceedings of the
International Archaeopteryx Conference Eichstatt 1984", eds. M. Hecht, J.
Ostrom, G. Viohl, & P. Wellnhofer, pubs Freunde des Jura-Museums Eichstatt
1985, ISBN 3-9801178-0-4.

Abstract is...

"Archaeopteryx is envisaged as an agile hunter that frequented shore-lines,
pools, and shallow waters.  It probably subsisted on prey of moderate size,
including small fishes and worms.  The feathered forelimbs ("wings") may
have been used as a canopy while Archaeopteryx foraged in water; its hunting
techniques may have resembled those used by existing herons and egrets.
Speculations on the natural history of Archaeopteryx prompt a new theory for
the origin of avian flight: the first flying birds may have been aquatic
forms, using their rudimentary flight apparatus to carry them from
wave-crest to wave-crest." 

It might amuse...