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Re: Neoteny & Avian Evolution

At 12:18 PM 14/11/97 -0600, you wrote:
>I don't know if this idea has been brought up before so I'll ask it and if
>it has I'll just automatically expect the roasting to begin.
>With recent discussion of tree climbing dromaeosaurids and feathered
>Alvarezsaurids an idea formed in my head (dear god, I hope it is an
>original one).  What if birds evolved as a result of neoteny from a very
>early (as of yet undiscovered) dromaeosaur relative. 

I think you mean paedomorphosis here (but don't quote me).  Storrs Olson
has proposed precisely this mechanism to explain the evolution of
flightless birds such as ratites and flightless rails.  If it is true that
any of the maniraptorians are derived secondarily flightless forms (and I
think the jury is still way, way out on that one) a similar mechanism might
very well have been involved in their evolution IMHO.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net