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Re: Orenstein's pedestrian arguments.

From: ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald Orenstein)
 > On Mon, 24 Feb 97 09:41:42 PST, Stan Friesen wrote:
 > >Good point. I know of no likely true fossorial archosaurs, with the
 > >one - maybe - exception of _Mononykus_.
 > >
 > >[And I have doubts even about that one].
 > I find it almost impossible to believe that this creature was
 > fossorial - except for the wierd forelimbs it seems totally unsuited
 > to such a life

Hey, nice to hear someone else echo my own thoughts.
[I considered getting into this in the above post, but I decided
it was off-topic].

As far as I am concerned, the neck structure is, at best, unexpected
in a fossorial animal.  All fossorial animals I know of are either
snake-like or have short, thick necks.
 > Absolutely.  It is quite remarkable how easily the right kind of bird
 > can get around in trees by wing-free leaping  - have seen birds like
 > the NZ Kokako and various birds-of-paradise do this, too.  If they
 > could, why not small dinosaurs?  The stiff tails might actually have
 > been useful balancing rods, for that matter.
Hmm, interesting idea.  I am becoming quite enamored of the idea
of _Compsognathus_ or _Sinosauropteryx_, or even a small _Troodon_,
hopping about in trees.

[For that matter, I have seen the brown thrasher do some pretty
nimble branch hopping - though its tail is not *quite* so long
as that of a bird-of-paradise or lyrebird :-)]

 > Ummm - I think you mean the Elf Owl, which nests in Saguaro cactus
 > holes (but does not dig them) or perhaps the Burrowing Owl, which does
 > dig burrows.  The Pygmy Owls are different again.

I think I meant the burrowing owl.
[I get those small desert owls a bit confused at times].
 > Other burrowing birds include a number of songbirds: miners

Hmm, yes, I can see that a bird with that name probably burrows.
 > I agree that the Guam case is hardly an argument for the value of
 > flight!  However, this sort of rapid destruction of a naive fauna may
 > not have happened very often before we started shipping creatures all
 > over the place.

In essence, yes, but ..

In point of fact alot of the Pacific avifauna was wiped out long
before Europeans ever got to the Pacific.  The Polynesians, Micro-
nesian, and Melanesians did alot of damage on their own truck.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.