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Re: Feduccia book

Sorry about the delay in responding, I have been sick.

From: Gothgrrl@aol.com
 > Had a chance to glance through Feduccia's new book on the origin and history
 > of birds this afternoon. It looks quite good.

In some ways.  It has problems.

I have only read the first couple chapters or so, and found a few
gaffes.  The one that really caught my attention is his statement
that in birds flight efficiency is the single most important factor
in their evolution.  Hogwash! There is one other factor that beats
that one, hands down: always has and always will, for ever and ever,
amen.  If you want to know what it is, consider the peacock's tail.
[I would accept "one of the most important"].

I also take excpetion to his implication that the differences between
anisodactyl and heterodactyl/zygodactyl feet are non-adaptive! I cannot
see how a shift like that could occur *unless* there were some adaptive
pressure driving it.

PS.  Does anybody out there know if any dinosaurs had a retroverted first
toe (?hallux), and hence and anisodactyl foot?  From _The Dinosauria_ I
cannot quite make this out. It seems to say that allosaurids have a more
or less anisodactyl foot, but other theropods don't.  Is this correct?

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

The peace of God be with you.