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  Not to interrupt anything between Matt and John here, but I thought
I could add something:

Matt Troutmann wrote:

<<Being unrelated to locomotion, the avian features of the skull
demonstrate that _Archaeopteryx_ is a bird rather than a feathered
nonavian archosaur (p. 81).>>

and John V. Jackson wrote:

<So changing physical size by an order of magnitude or two has no
effect? What about the *results* of being able to fly? How can E & W
be sure that some of these skull changes are not required to protect a
flightless animal from falling on its nose from a height of five feet
for example?>

  It is possible that, because monkeys like _Alouatta_ do not have
them, they are not perequisite for an arboreal lifestyle, and neither
for a volant lifestyle as there are numerous semi-volant and fully
volant mammals who lack these avian 'flight-neccesary' structures.
Now, I'm not putting E & W down, I like their work (what little I've
actually read).

  Small creatures like squirrels, I might add, who have "flying" and
"non-flying" forms (these are true squirrels, mind you) can take a
fall from five feet without so much as squeaking, get up, and in no
time be on their way back up.

  Anyway, my 6 yen,

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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