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At 01:14 PM 9/27/96 -0500, Darren Naish wrote:

>Jonathan Wagner has bought this up (any pun based on the subject of
>vomiting is not intentional;))...

        Et tu, Darren?

>If this is correct, the wing-digit is no. 5, and pterosaurs have
>retained the pentadactyl manus (albeit, highly modified).

        It makes some sort of sense, really, especially is pterodactyls
*did* evolve from gliders...

>With regard to Jonathan's lattermost sentence, whether loss of a
>fifth digit is advantageous or not is unknowable, untestable and
>_probably_ not correct

        The idea was, why would pterosaurs lose it if George is maintaining
that the only explanation for this serial digit loss is the structure of the
avian wing.  It is a counter-example.  That's all.

>With birds, things are different. Digits do not play a part in
>support of the (avian) distal aerofoil, and retention of them could
>not be advantageous.

        Once again, I hardly care.  The idea is that George is making
mysteries where there are none.  He says that there is no explanation for
the digit loss other than the feathered wing.  I say that the feathered wing
had to come about after the digit loss, because otherwise the wing would be
based around another digit, as it is in pterosaurs. All the five-fingered
pterosaur thing does is strengthen my point.
+-------------******ONCE AGAIN, NOTE NEW E-MAIL ADRESS******---------------+
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    "You can clade if you want to,     |
| Department of Geosciences              You can leave your friends behind |
| Texas Tech University                  Because your friends don't clade  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                               and if they don't clade, |
|       *** wagner@ttu.edu ***           Then they're no friends of mine." |
|           Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f             |