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Been gone from the list for a week and a few days and I need to catch up 
on my email and I'm doing it in one message...


Behaviors can be very valid synapomorphies.  I can count many instances 
where behaviors have been used to link groups, such as stilts and 
flamingos and also define a group, such as the classical Coraciiformes.  
In ornithology behaviors as well as parasites, waxy secretions, 
biogeographic range, and other things are used instead of anatomy and 
genetics to figure relations.  


An animal that has feathers does not necessarily be endothermic.  
Woodhoopoes (and all Coraciiformes) do not have great temperature 
control even though they have feathers.  Though they are endothermic 
tachymetabolic homeotherms during most of the day, they are not so much 
during nights, where they need to seek refuge in a tree trunk to 
withstand hypothermia.  Feathers, especially downy feathers, can provide 
good insulation, but this would be advantageous to both endotherms and 


There is no evidence of any gastroliths in any of the Archaeopteryx 
specimens.  Alan Feduccia has noted that the enantiornithine furcula is 
similiar to that of Opisthocomus, suggesting a large crop.  The 
similiarity of the Archaeopteryx and enantiornithine furcula, though not 
identical, may suggest that Archaeopteryx may have had a large crop.  
The biggest argument against this hypothesis is that there is no 
evidence that neither Archaeopteryx nor the enantiornithines were 
frugivores.  Indeed Eoalulavis shows shrimp still in its gut. 

And congratulations to Jamie Haarden (is that how its spelled?). 

Matt Troutman

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