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Re: Flightly PaleoWorld



>The PaleoWorld series II seems to be sinking to the level of the first
>season. The last one had Larry Martin and Bakker arguing over bird origins.
>Too bad they did not present those better qualified to address the issue. 

Seconded!  With Gardiner thrown in at the end, the whole episode was a loss.
>
>Martin made odd assertions. His model of Archaeopteryx shows an animal with a
>flat body like a bird, and unlike deep bodied theropods. Birds and bats with
>flat bodies are often preserved belly down, with their limbs spread out to
>either side.

I, too, found that argument very odd.
>
>Martin also said that theropods like Deinonychus were too deep bodied and big
>to climb, and lacked a reversable toe to grasp branches with. Tell that to a
>leopard, which is as big as the dromaeosaur, deep bodied, and has no hallux
>at all!

Tell it to the black bear, too!

>Chimps are also big and they hunt monkeys in the trees! Of course,
>Martin's assertion was irrelevant arm waving. The theropods ancestoral to
>birds were probably wee little Jurassic forms.  

What I hated was the artists who showed the dromaeosaurs climbing up the
trees with their digit II *extended*!!  If anything, that claw would be the
PRIMARY gripper of the foot, and toes III and IV would be less important.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084