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Re: Feduccia ORIGIN



In a message dated 97-01-09 12:59:25 EST, Gothgrrl@AOL.COM writes:

> ...[Feduccia] isn't saying that an "already-flying" animal is
> required for the development of feathers, but that feathers evolved
> not from a short-forelimbed, cusorial predator (such as an early
> dinosaur), but from an arboreal, long-forelimbed diapsid. He's
> saying that it's difficult (and perhaps impossible) to construct a
> sound model whereby feathers evolved in a ground-up scenario.

Whereas Feduccia's arguments from faulty systematics that dinosaurs and birds
cannot be closely related are bunk, his arguments about the arboreal
precursors of birds and the origins of feathers make a great deal of
sense--much more sense than any "ground-up" origin of feathers and flight. If
you replace Feduccia's systematics with that of Gauthier, Chiappe, and
Ostrom, but retain Feduccia's arboreality arguments, you essentially obtain
BCF--which I outlined in the first printing of _Mesozoic Meanderings_ #2 in
1991.

Reconciling the "trees-down" origin of birds with seemingly "ground-up"
theropod-bird systematics leads to the interesting result that, like today's
ostriches and emus, and like Cenozoic phorusrachids and diatrymids, the
theropod dinosaurs of the Mesozoic were also large, ground-dwelling,
cursorial descendants of small, arboreal, climbing, probably gliding, and
possibly even flying dinosaurs.