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re: Feduccia discussions

At 01:49 PM 9/25/96 -0500, J. Norton wrote:

>How about this for a possible scenario?  A small (theropod) dinosaur
>discovers that prey localization and capture is facilitated by perching on
>low-lying vegetation or low tree branches.

        Not only is this a reasonable arguement, it aligns well with the
suggestion (by GSP?) that the sicle [sic?] claw was origionally for climbing
and was (10 cent word of the month!) exapted for killing later.  Of course,
if one wants to assume that dromaeosaurs started out this way, one then has
to explain how they moved into the "running predator" niche.  Personally, I
don't think that this is a big stretch.  Maybe they became secondarily
flightless and started running again, maybe they ran after prey they
couldn't pounce on (uh yeah), maybe they just ran out of trees (as in in
Mongolia (?)).
        I have always favored this as an explanation both of how sicle
clawed predators evolved and how birds fit in.
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