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Re: Paedomorphosis ( Re: BARYONYX' CLAWS )
In a message dated 98-04-09 03:13:37 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Au contaire! Many ornithologists ( Feduccia, Olson ) have speculated
along these lines, and lets just face it, all of the flightless
characteristics seen in flightless birds are paedomorphic
Except, as you have previously noted, in penguins and auks.
Certainly paedomorphosis--which I might describe as the "Baby Huey"
mechanism--is doubtless the >easiest< path for a modern avian to develop
flightlessness: the chicks simply don't develop their wings and just get
bigger. It might even be the case that flightlessness in Triassic theropods
developed through paedomorphosis. For example, the giant skulls of carnosaurs
and other large theropods seems as if it might be a juvenile feature. Who
knows? We certainly don't have enough information about hatchling and juvenile
Triassic theropods to reject a paedomorphic origin for flightlessness that far
back in theropod evolution.
But to state that paedomorphosis is the >only< way that flightlessness >can<
evolve is dogmatic, and is contradicted by your own example of penguins.