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At 01:13 PM 9/27/96 -0500, Darren Nash wrote:

>To bring this around to the ol' bird origin thang, does
>anyone know _how_ prehensile the megalancosaur tail was? (I have
>S. Renesto's paper).  It's been suggested to me that the extant Green tree
>monitor could be an analogue for a Triassic quadrupedal protobird. Being a
>lizard, it obviously has a bunch of non-archosaurian specialisations, but
>it *is* a wiry, gracile thing with long limbs and a prehensile tail.

        And this makes it a good protobird?!?!?!  A prehensile tail?  Just
where is there any evidence for THAT in bird evolution.  I bet it has a long
trunk too.  that really makes it look like a bird!  And sprawling limbs?  I
don't quite get how everyone thinks an arboreal animal is going to develop
an erect gait on it's own.  The illustrations for George's BCF article in
Omni say it all:  there is no reason for an arboreal animal to develop an
erect gait, and there is no expalantion for a quadrapedal animal developing
a flight surface on its front limbs only.  And don't bring up primates.  No
potential bird progentior could have loooked like a narrow-tailed
flexible-limbed, weird thing like a monkey.

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