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FW: SICB Report, part 1 (long)




      Nick Pharris wrote...
One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this thread yet is that modern
birds, unlike non-avian theropods, have (nearly) immobile femora that, as
far as I can tell, stick straight forward, effectively displacing the
"hip" joint (actually the knee) to a position under the wings.

[Jeffrey Martz]  
     
      Discussions of modification in the theropod hind and pelvis relating to 
locomotion can be found in...

Gatesy, S.M. 1990. Caudofemoral musculature and the evolution theropod 
locamotion. Paleobiology 16:170-186.

Gatesy, S.M. 1994. Functional evolution of the hindlimb and tail from basal 
theropods to birds.  in J.J. Thomason (ed.), Funtional 
     Morphology in Vertebrate Paleontology, pp. 219-234. Cambridge University 
Press, New York.

Gatesy, S.M., & K.P. Dial. 1996. Locamotor modules and the evolution of avian 
flight. Evolution 50:331-340. 

Gatesy, S.M., & K.M. Middleton. Bipedalism, flight, and the evolution of 
theropod locomotor diversity.  Journal of Vertebrate 
     Paleontology 17(2):308-329.

      I haven't read any of these except the last, which mainly speculates that 
flight allowed birds to do a lot more diverse and interesting things with thier 
hindlimbs rather then going into functional morphology in a lot of detail.  I 
think the others mainly talk about changes in musculature (including the fact 
that theropods probably had more back swing in thier femurs due to the 
caudofemoralis [sic?]), but they my also mention how this mpre constant forward 
orientation of the femur relates to balance problems from shrinking the tail.

LN Jeff