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 >      Also, how common is Archaeopteryx relative to other tetrapod 
> species like pterosaurs and Compsognathus at the Solnhofen?  I mean 
> counts of individual species, not a percenatge of the total number of 
> species.  In other words, what does its rarity or commonality say 
> about if it was a rare an accidental visitor, or a native of the 
> area?
> LN Jeff         

One way to test the 'crude shorebird' theory would be to examine the taphonomy
of extant birds for which we know the exact habitat parameters. There are many
land birds that inhabit small, oceanic islands, and it would be interesting to
see how many of them end up as corpses at the bottoms of lagoons. I know that
hurricanes wreak havoc on populations of small, island-dwelling passerines, but
a test of the true life-habitat of _Archaeopteryx_ could be to see whether
forest-dwelling forms or water/sea forms predominate in samples of sea-dead
birds. Any conclusion, however, would be fraught with uncertainties and
assumptions which I won't even begin to mention.

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