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Re: Climbing Archaeopteryx (was Re: bauplan convergence)



Dann Pigdon wrote:

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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. 

>From the film I've seen of it it's a bit clumsy but it gets the job
done.

The Hoatzin is a pretty lousy flier though, even when grown and the
claws have mostly disappeared.


Thor C. Gran III

"Doubtless the reason many of the dinosaurs died is that their bodies
were too big for their brains. With smaller bodies and bigger brains
they might have lived on."

  Golden Treasury of Natural History - 1952