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Re: Origin of Birds



bruce moore wrote:
> 
> In the Audubon article Feduccia does not claim that the cladistic
> methodology MUST be wrong. Neither does he claim that in  The Origin and
> Evolution of Birds. In the Audubon article Feduccia briefly recaps the
> argument of the book:
> 
>  Theropods were not adapted for climbing trees. Flight began in the
> trees. Convergence is not rare and is the limiting factor of the
> cladistic methodology. Birds likely originated in the Triassic from a
> thecodonts such as Megalancosaurs.
> <BIG SNIP>

How do we discount the idea of arborial theropods? Preservation tends
to be biased against the smaller species (as a general rule). Also,
is the North American (?) species of partially arborial fox much
different skeletally from other fox species? Is the owl species that
nests in underground burrows much different skeletally from tree
nesting varieties? Is there much difference between arborial snakes
and their ground dwelling relatives? Nature seems to be pretty inventive
as far as behaviour goes. Behaviour can sometimes overcome what we would
perceive as physical improbabilities. I often use tree kangaroos as
an example. They seem to be so ungainly, yet manage a mostly arborial
lifestyle. Can we discount arborial theropods so easily?
-- 
____________________________________________________
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/4459/
        Australian Dinosaurs:
        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
____________________________________________________