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Re: Climbing Archaeopteryx (was Re: bauplan convergence)
Thor C. Gran III wrote:
> Dann Pigdon wrote:
> I have a problem with Archaeopteryx using its manual claws for climbing.
> Modern birds spend a lot of time and effort maintaining their flight
> feathers, and when not in use the wing tends to be folded tightly
> against the body out of harms way. How would Archae manage to climb
> using its manual claws without risking damage to its flight feathers?
> Would it have been possible to fold the feathers back and out of the way
> while extending the claws forward?
> The Hoatzin bird (Opisthocomus hoatzin), in it's immature form, does
> pretty much what you're talking about. Using it's wing claws and beak it
> is able to climb fairly well.
Juvenile hoatzin don't have primary flight feathers to worry about. This
could be why they don't climb that way as adults, and why the manual
claws aren't important and disappear.