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Re: More on Birds, dinosaurs, and digits (LONG)



   After reading Stan Freisen's latest observations I took a closer look at
the photographs in the F&B article.  I thought I'd throw something out and
see it anybody salutes it.

   The Gallus hand in column three and the Chelydra hand in column four both
have their first digit appearing in the same general shape and almost the
same general location.  However, in the fourth column, the first digit of
the Alligator hand and the first digit of the Gallus hand appear to be in
exactly the same position relative to the radius.

   Further, if one traces a path from the Alligator radius to the third
digit, you can trace almost almost exactly the same path through the Gallus
radius and middle "main" digit.

   Next, the second to outermost digit of all three hands appears to develop
in exactly the same way (let's ignore, for the moment, the possibility that
the main axis shifted from four to three in birds and other theropods).

   Last, the middle most "main" digit in Gallus is a thick honker, much
thicker than any digit on any of the three animals.

   So, given the above interpretations, 1) the innermost digit of the Gallus
hand is I, 2) the second to outermost digit is IV, 3) the middle "main"
digit holds the position of III, and 4) the middle "main" digit is BIG.

   Is it possible, then, that bird hands are not, in fact, II-II-IV as F&B
say, or I-II-III as other say, but in fact I-II/III-IV?  In other words,
birds lost digit V and fused II and III.  Is it at all possible that this
was what happened in maniraptorid theropods as well, if not all three
fingered theropods?

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