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Wading Caudipteryx

Jane P. Davidson wrote:

<I was discussing with a friend about the possibility that Caudipteryx
might have waded about on its long limbs. He commented that he "just
wanted to know what they would have looked like in pantyhose." Sorry I
just thought it too funny to pass up.>


Mike Keesey wrote:

<Whenever anyone sees a long-legged theropod, it seems the first thing
they think is "sprinter". However, long legs have evolved several
times among Theropoda (Neornithes, at least) for a very different
purpose --
striding through water and mud. 

Could this be the case with _Caudipteryx_?>


<I was reminded of a creature in Dougal Dixon's _The New Dinosaurs_ --
a heron-like pterosaur. It used its wings to form a sort of "parasol"
which helped it catch fish in two way -- the fish were drawn to the
shade, and the problem of glare from the sun reflecting off the
water's surface was removed. (I'm sure this must be based on some real
animal, like most of the creatures in that book). Could this also be
the purpose of _Caudipteryx_'s undersized wings?>

  It is also interesting to note that *Caudipteryx* has unserrated,
needle-like teeth that project forward in the its jaws, much as many
fish-eating animals do, including supposed fish-eating pterosaurs.
Unfortunately, the neck seems a bit short, not one you would expect
for a small-headded, long-legged wader, where the neck needs to reach
the water with the legs relatively strait. But of course the animal
could always plunge forward, knees flexing dramatically in a
split-second strike at some fish. . . .

  A wader? No doubt. One would think there _had_ to be waders back then!

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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