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Re: Mononykus



At 03:24 PM 3/26/97 -0700, Jeffery Martz wrote:
>
>     I just read a paper published in Auk a little while ago that
>discussed _Mononykus_.  It made the point that the longitudinally oriented
>and keeled sternum is a feature that is shared covergently between
>digging animals and flying birds, and this may be the case with
>_Mononykus_. It also suggested that the lack of fusion in the carpals of
>Mononykus was more suggestive of theropods then birds because it was less
>fused then in _Archaeopteryx_.

Actually, the carpus of Mononykus is MORE fused than Archaeopteryx!

>It also suggested that the fibula 
>not articulating with the tarsus was another covergent feature.
>Comments?  Do any other theropods have fibula that don't make it to the
>tarsus?

The fibula pinches out before reaching the tarsus in Avimimus, as well.

Comments?  Have Martin and company play by the rules!  ANY feature might
concievably be convergent.  At what point would they accept that the copious
amount of "convergences" between advanced coelurosaurs and birds might not
be convergences, but shared derived characters?

If at all possible, find the Chiappe et al. paper in the Gondwana Dinosaur
symposium (1996.  Memoirs of the Queensland Musuem 39:557-582).  They
address some of the criticisms raised by Martin, Feduccia, and others.

>     Off the subject, is it just me or does the physics community have
>more then its fair share of creationsists?

Well, I don't know that physics has more than its fair share:  I think it
might be more of a case of paleontology, geology, and biology having less
than its "fair share", since we work with the primary data of evolution.

(Chemists, particularly biochemical engineers, also have a fair number of
prominent creationists, in my observations).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661