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Re: PTEROSAURS: AVIAN ANCESTORS?
A couple of these topics will be addressed at SVP...
> Larry Martin views these animals as crocodylomorphs based on several
> features. However, the majority of people think that _Cosesaurus_ and
> _Megalancosaurus_ are prolacertiforms. Dave Peters views _Cosesaurus_
> as the sister-group to pterosaurs.
>4) There is really no "time problem in the theropodian=>bird hypothesis.
Early maniraptorians are springing up all over.
John Ruben will be giving a talk at SVP backing up the assignment of
Megalancosaurus as a bird predecessor. Chris Brochu will be giving a talk
on the "time problem" (or lack thereof), and, and there will also be a
talk describing a possible way around the embryological problem bird
digits. No one has yet explained to my satisfaction why the "time
problem" between Megalancosaurus and Archaeopteryx is less significant
then the one going in the opposite direction between really bird-like
theropods and Archaeopteryx.
Larry Dunn mentioned the scientist who claims that "naughty mice
could trip T.rex" if it ran. If you've read Farlow's paper, I think it is
pretty clear that the "tripping mouse" drawing was a joke. Farlow's point
was "if a multi-ton animal falls down, its going to hurt itself, so maybe
being a huge bipedal runner was kind of dangerous". Continued resistance
to this pretty unpretentious suggestion presumably continues because
it makes T.rex look like a wuss.
I think most of the resistance to Scott Hartman's claim regarding
feathers on _Velociraptor_ results mostly from his questionable use of
"almost certainly". Apparently unfeathered skin impressions in at elast
some theropods make the exact distribution of integument among theropods
(Not saying much of importance these days.)