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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.
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. Theropods are usually preserved lying on their side, where their
deep bodies fell and rolled over. This includes the two Compsognathus
specimenn from the same sediments as Archaeopteryx. All the complete
Archaeopteryx specimens are preserved like theropods, lying on their sides.
The articulated specimens show that the pelvis was deep and narrow, like
those of theropods. Martin's restoration alters Archaeopteryx into the bird
he wants it to be, rather than the winged theropod that it was.
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! 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.
As for Bakker presenting a Thanksgiving turkey to a family during the
program, that was just plain weird.