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Re: Status of _Caudipteryx_



In a message dated 12/28/00 6:44:03 PM, twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com writes:

<< Yes really.  By "primarily flightless" I suppose you mean that such birds 
are primitively flightless and did not evolve from volant (flying) ancestors>>

yup.
 
<<- which would make _Caudipteryx_ *secondarily* flightless. >>

Not neccessarily. The so-called "flying lemurs" are primitively flightless, 
and I've read that they may be closely related to fruit bats. Remember the 
birds of today are decendants of those lucky few species who made it through 
the KT boundry. During the time of _Caudipteryx_ you might have had all sorts 
of variations on the "proto/para-bird plan that we couldn't now imagine. Sort 
of like those aboreal ungulates that flurished in the Paleocene/early Eocene.

eric l.