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RE: Testing for arboreality (was RE: On science (was Re: a bunch of other stuff))




>>And that is indeed how it works: it is possible to construct tests which
eliminate possibilites.  The statement "theropod X was arboreal" is
impossible to prove; however, we can get much further by restating the
hypothesis "theropod X could not be arboreal" and testing this statement.<<
At the Graves Bird/Theropod symposium Stephen Czerkas had a hatchling
theropod that everyone said was without question arboreal. Martin, Feduccia,
Paul, etc, everyone based on its feet.

>>However, how to test?  Therein lies the difficulty.  Below I reveal a
potential research program to do this study.  It will be long; it will
involve a lot of measurements; I suspect that it might make a good Masters
Thesis for those in search of one.<<
Why? What about what Chatterjee has done? He's written several papers on
this. Just discount what he's done?

>>The heart of the problem is that the questions about theropod arboreality
(or scansoriality) have been extremely poorly thought out.  First of all, we
have to recognize that there are different methods of getting into and
clambering around trees.  Off the top of my head, I can think of some of the
following:
*Clambering up the sides a la squirrels, cats, etc.: claws are used, but no
grasping with the hands & feet as such;
*Shimmying up the sides a la sifakas and some other primates: long arms and
hands are used to grasp the trunk;
*Creeping up and down the trunk a la woodpeckers and other tree climbing
birds;
*Walking along the tops of branches;
*Brachiating underneath the branches;
to name a few.<<
Why again. Just to have 90% of scientist laugh them off. Its been talked
about a lot, on this list even, and its just poop pooped off. We can talk
till were blue in the face and still get shot down. Lets do a test, later
this year, probably next year, someone on this list will write an article
about this topic, and I probably will write on this latter this year also,
lets see what will be said about those papers. I can gaurintee it won't be
widely accepted. Why. It goes against what is 'widely' accepted. It goes
against the grain, so to speak. We need to STOP thinking what birds are, and
think of what they were.

Tracy