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Re: climbing dromaeosaurs and friends

In a message dated 12/7/00 9:26:24 PM EST, scott_hartman@hotmail.com writes:

<< In fact, I would go so far as to suggest 
 that the retroverted hallux evolved for prey manipulation long before it was 
 useful for perching, although this evolutionary novelty certainly 
 pre-adapted birds for a perching lifestyle. >>

Why bother having a retro hallux >for prey manipulation< when the forelimbs 
were already well adapted for this purpose? Retro hallux first appears in 
ceratosaurs, which strongly suggests that the common ancestor of ceratosaurs 
and birds was a fairly good flier that had found having a grasping/perching 
foot highly adaptive: distally positioned retro hallux occurs in all 
theropods at ceratosaur grade or above.