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Re: To climb or not to climb



Norm King wrote:

< Patrick Norton's comment about animals NOT developing bipedalism AFTER   
taking to the trees (with birds being the possible exception) inspired me   
to
suggest that dromaeosaurs may have been somewhat unique in this regard>

My point as well. If they did develop obligatory bipedalism after taking   
to the trees, they would appear to be unique among all animals in that   
regard.

<remember, my position is that it is OK to have unique animals without
analogies, living or dead>

I agree. (Anyone know of another animal that invented e-mail?)

<shortly after that the carpometacarpus emerged (e.g. Confusiornis) since   
the hand was no longer needed to hold onto branches.>

An interesting thought. I've often wondered what may have triggered the   
fusion of bones seen in the carpometacarpus, particularly since birds   
were flying well before that occurred. Release from selective pressures   
for a grasping hand might do it......but there's a long time between the   
first probable flyer and the first evidence of a carpometacarpus. My   
thought was that the grasping hand was related to predation, and that the   
evolution of the reversed hallux (grasping foot) freed the arms entirely   
for flight by allowing the foot to take over the prey capture function.

But I'm sure I'm the one out on a limb on this one.

Patrick Norton