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Re: What did these animals look like?



At 10:48 AM 4/18/97 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi,
>
>What did the most basal tetanurine probably look like?

Something in the Piatnitzkysaurus/Gasosaurus range of things, most likely.

>What about the 
>most basal metornithine?

Not much different than Archaeopteryx, actually (Metornithes is supported by
such features as "prominent ventral processes on cervicodorsal vertebrae",
"sternum of longitudinal rectangual shape", "distal carpals fused to
metacarpals forming carpometacarpus", "pelvis with prominent
antitrochanter", and "ischium more than two-thirds of pubic length" [a
reversal to the pre-maniraptoriform condition, actually].  As such, a bird
similar to Archie but having these features might make an excellent basal
metornithine.

>And the most basal neornithine?

Pretty much like an ultra-generalized modern bird: something like a cross
between the primitive flying ratites, tinamous, and the phasanids
(pheasants, fowl, etc.)

>Thanks in advance,
>
>-Grant
>
>P.S. I'm talking in terms of BADD, not BCF!

Please, BAMM (Birds are Modified Maniraptorans)!!

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661