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Re: Giant birds



Ekaterina Amalitzkaya wrote:

<<My thanks to Drs. Ruhe and Headden>>

  Mmm, as much as I appreciate the title, I am not a
doctor of anything, though certainly somewhere down
the line I would like to be. But no insult, Ekaterina.

<<Another matter I would appreciate clarification is
as to why the 'Struthioid' body plan was not explored
before the Cretaceous where it was independently
achieved by at least 3 lines.>>

and Dan Bensen wrote:
 
<Now wait a minute.  As if this wasn't complicated
enough. So during the Creatacious there were
ostrictch-like flightless birds in Europe?>

  No, Gargantuavis was not, and I do not think ever
was called, ostrich-like. Ekaterina is using the term
struthioid as a body plan, not taxonomic descriptor.
By the way, ornithomimosaurs are not so struthioid as
*Avimimus* would be if it were a single, monophyletic
taxon, because their limb proportions are far off the
struthioid pattern, more similar to tyrannosaurs.
Parvicursorid/Mononykid are more similar to the
struthioid plan, though, unless you [Ekaterina] are
including them in this set of K "ostriches"? But
that's me griping.

<Arn't all those dinosaurs (stromemosaurs,>

  Do you mean "Dromaeosaurs"?

<oviraptors, etc.) considered to be flightless birds
nowadays, too?>

  Possibly. Olshevsky has been calling them flightless
birds in connection to the BCF hypothesis, and Paul in
his SVP talk called them flightless, including
therizinosaurs. But more than likely, troodontids and
oviraptorosaurs are just outside the bird/dromie
thing, or troodontids are closer to birds than
dromies, or troodontids and dromies form a group
exclusive of other taxa, such as birds, but then as
deinonychosaurs are closer to birds than oviraptors,
etc. I think there's overwhelming evidence for dromies
as the sister taxa to birds, then, successively,
oviraptors, troodontids, ornithomimids and
tyrannosaurs, coelurids, and compsognathids, withing
coelurosaurs. [By "coelurids", I include *Coelurus*,
*Ornitholestes*, *Nedcolbertia* et al. within a
monophyletic group, but could be wrong].

<I'd never heard of this European Ostritch, did it
have fingers and a tail?>

  The holotype of *Gargantuavis* is a partial pelvis.


=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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