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[Fwd: MEGALANCOSAUR notes from Ruben.



an interesting contribution I am forwarding to the list

----- Original Message -----
From: "Betty Cunningham" <bettyc@flyinggoat.com>
To: "John Ruben" <rubenj@ava.bcc.orst.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: megal


Betty
-if you like, go ahead and post the following text to the Dino-web. Nice
to hear from you--jr

*Firsthand examination of all Megalancosaurus specimens reveals fairly
obvious, but persistently overlooked, evidence that it was, indeed, an
adept glider-- e.g., 

(1) firm osteological correlates for the existence of a birdlike
prepatagial membrane; 

(2) elbow joints that, similar to many birds, "locked" at about 165
degrees extension (i.e., about 25 degree short of full extension) ; 

(3) fusion of dorsal vertebrae into a somewhat birdlike/pterosaur-like
notarium; 

(4) lightened, externally "hollowed-out" longbones; 

(5) extremely long forelimbs, etc, etc. 

Additionally, the skull, neck and pectoral girdles are almost shockingly
birdlike in a number of respects. As some Dino-web contributors have
correctly pointed out, Megalancosaurus was also distinctly unbirdlike in
a number of other respects. This was all carefully presented (and never
refuted) in my talk at the Utah ('98) SVP meetings. Megalancosaurus was,
indeed, a fascinating animal. 

Unfortunately, it's become an increasingly untrendy animal for serious
discussion because as soon as the genus is mentioned, many
"dinos-are-birds" zealots automatically react as if it were being
proposed as the avian ancestor,....

Cheers, john r*