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Re:Re: Topic of the Day #1

Matt wrote:
>An example of this comes from the compognathus (relative but
>not ancestor of the Archaeopteryx) a lizard around in the
>Jurassic, found in the Solenhofen Limestone. It eloved longer
>hind legs (for running and jumping) and a long tail (for
>balance). It used it's smaller forelimbs to hunt prey. It fed
>on insects. To hunt insects more efficiently it legs evolved
>to jump, allowing it to catch more.

Well Matt, you are correct about 1 thing, Compsognathus and
Archaeopteryx are relatives.  On the other hand, Compsognathus
is not a lizard nor is it a close relative of lizards.  It may have
eaten insects but it did also hunt lizards, maybe that's where
you got mixed up.  A fossil of the lizard Bavarisaurus was found
inside the gut cavity of the Solnhofen specimen.

>The Archaeopteryx was
>very similay, but had evolved tail feathers for balance
>rather then a long tail,

Actually, Archaeopteryx had a long tail as well.
(and there is the distinct possibility that Compsognathus
had feathers too, although probably not of the same type).

>and had evolved small feathered
>wings, not usable for true flight but when used helped the
>creature attain a little more hieght in a jump, and maintain
>it a little longer, clearly an advantage when hunting flying

Archaeopteryx's wings "were" usuable for true flight (I assume
you mean flapping flight) and were really not that small it just
lacked most of the fusion found in the bones of modern birds.
It was most likely not capable of extended flight, but it could
fly without a doubt.

Tired of lurking I guess

Jonathan W