[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Ostrom Symposium - Part 2
At 08:41 PM 2/17/99 -0500, Ron Orenstein wrote:
>On to Part Two of my recollections of the Ostrom Symposium, helped along by
>whatever notes I could scribble down at the time. I appreciate Tom Holtz
>for filling in some of the genuine science, though I am sorry if he thought
>my asking five questions over the course of two days amounted to hogging
It was a joke, dammit, a joke... (Sheesh...) Heck, as you point out, at
least your questions were among the most pertinent.
>Well, if you don't ask, you don't know, and at least I
>didn't ask how small cursorial dinosaurs could avoid tripping over
>vegetation or why flying birds hadn't lost their legs altogether (I had
>better say that the last question was asked by John Ostrom himself, and I
>admit I'm still not altogether sure what he was driving at).
Because it was the original basis for Ostrom recognizing the cursorial
origin: birds, unlike other flying and gliding vertebrates, do nor
incorporate the hindlimb into the flight membrane, but instead retain full
non-flight locomotory function of them. (Okay, except for apodiforms).
>One interesting historical footnote from the floor: Thomas Huxley was not
>the first to suggest a link between dinosaurs and birds. Huxley apparently
>cited the work of a German embryologist named Gegenbauer (?), who suggested
>the connection after his study of chick embryos, which he saw as quite
>dinosaur-like. Does anyone out there know more about this?
Carl Gegenbaur is briefly discussed in Dingus & Rowe's The Mistaken
Extinction, in chapt. 10. The pertinent reference is:
Gegenbaur, C. 1863. Vergleichend-anatomische bemerkungen u:ber das
Fusskelet der Vo:gel. Archiv fu:r Anatomie, Physiologie und
wissenschaftliche Medicin 1863: 450-472.
(Gegenbaur compares the ankle of birds to the then-just discovered
I don't have my copy of Larry Witmer's review of bird origins (in the Origin
of Major Tetrapod Groups volume) handy, but I believe he discusses Gegenbaur
in there as well.
I can't remember who it was (Tim Rowe) who commented that no one really
discovers anything new: some 19th Century German actually already published
that idea in a comparative anatomy paper...
(Or, for my own work, it's a 20th Century German, namely Freidrich von Huene).
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:email@example.com
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661