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Re: the supracoracoideus system and bird flight
I'd like a little clarification on exactly what sort of depositional
environemtn the Solnholfen limestone is and how the Archaeopteryx'x ended
up there. I've kind of had the impression that the Solnholfen were a
series of offshore islands, and the Archaeopteryx and pterosaurs and all
the other nifty critters were oreserved in a lagoon between the islands
and the mainland. Is this even remotely correct?
I'm asking to try and get a better idea of what the Archaeopteryxs
were doing there, particularly if they were supposed to be arboreal.
I've heared two ideas:
1) The Archaeopteryxs were living on the islands (or at least visiting
the islands) and died nearby, in the lagoon.
2) The Archaes were living inland on the mainland, died and fell in a
river, and got washed out to the lagoon.
These raise some questions for me. I've read both that a) the
Solnholfen were scrub islands with no tall vegetation at all, and that
b) there were trees around suitible for perching. Which is correct?
Also, It seems more likely to me that the Archaeopteryx died very
near the lagoon, possibly falling right into it when they died or at
least dying on the beach and getting washed in, simply for the reason
that I find it hard to beleive that a little fragile animal like
Archaeopteryx could get washed a ways down a river and end up often
(usually?) with minimal disarticulation and feathers relatively
unrumpled by the time they reached the lagoon. I know a couple
specimens look like they've been worked over some, but I don't think the
Solnhofen and especially the Berlin specimen couldn't have traveled
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