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NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (or: using our eyes to see)
>From Greg Paul:
>A running theropod evolving flight should have a tail no shorter and a sternum
>no longer than Archaeopteryx, lack ossified sternal ribs, have arms longer
>than other theropods, aerodynamically asymmetrical arm feathers, and be an
>insectivore. Secondarily flightless birds have very short tails, large sterna
>with ossified ribs, short arms, nonaerodynamic symmetrical arm feathers, and
>are often small headed herbivores that use stones to help grind food.
>Considering that Caudipteryx had all the latter features, it was probably a
>secondarily flightless dinosaur related to oviraptorosaurs (the lower jaws are
>very similar) that descended from fliers more advanced than Archaeopteryx.
This analysis should merit a strong endorsement and a radical review of the
latest cladograms published in Nature and National Geographic. Once again
Greg Paul is using his eyes to see what is evident in the fossil without
trying to shoehorn it into prefab theories.
This also supports ample possibilities and scenarios. If this is a
secondarily flightless oviraptorosaur, then it >might be< that (at least)
all oviraptors (indeed as many other dinosaurs) are secondarily or
primitively flightless too.
After seeing the fossils in detail, it never crossed my mind that
Caudipteryx or Protarchaeopteryx looked 'more primitive' than
They are both obviously more 'advanced'!
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