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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.