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Re: Feduccia (was: polarity of bipedality in dinosaurs)



In a message dated 96-09-27 10:54:03 EDT, znc14@ttacs1.ttu.edu (Jonathan R.
Wagner) writes:

>> Come on, man. Where've you been?? Take a look at some of the recent
>> issues of _Nature_ with dinosaur-bird cladograms in them. Why, even
>> Tom Holtz...
>         No, brother, you misunderstand.  A dinosaur-bird cladogram *does
> not* implicitly demand a cursorial origin of avian flight.  I am fully aware
> that most paleontologists trace avian decent to the Coelurosauria using
> cladistic methodology.  I was wondering how many believe that this strongly
> indicated a cursorial origin of flight. >>

If anyone knows that the dinosaur-bird cladograms do not demand a cursorial
origin of avian flight, it's me! Take a look, however, at the article by
Kevin Padian in the issue of _Nature_ that introduced the Cretaceous Spanish
bird _Eoalulavis_ (quite recent--let me see whether I've listed it in my MM
#2 reference list yet...okay, try this one:

Padian, K., 1996. "Early bird in slow motion," Nature 382(6590): 400-401.)

Then read Feduccia's introduction to his new book.

I don't know how many dinosaurologists have recently argued in published
works that their cladograms require a cursorial origin for birds, but it
seems to be substantial.