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Re: Status of _Caudipteryx_

Ken Kinman (kinman@hotmail.com) wrote:

<I think it is perfectly acceptable to look at any animal with "flying"
close relatives (colugos being one) and ask the question whether it is
primitively (primarily) or secondarily flightless (in terms of
"powered" flight).>

  Okay, in this I must raise my initial point, the use of the term
"primitively flightless" to preclude the use of an animal that has
flighted relatives but is not secondarily flightless; this does not
concur with what I read from Eric Lurio's initial usage of the phrase,
which did not mean "primarily." By that usage, whales _are_ then
"primitively" flightless regardless of whether any close relatives can
fly or not. _We_ are then primitively flightless, because even another
archontan group (bats) can fly, and another (colugos) can glide. Both
are basal archontans by much of the latest genetic and morphological
data, more primitive than lemurs, and thus one can suggest that we are
secondarily flightless. Big jump? No, a plausibility, like secondarily
flightless ankylosaurs. A possibility, like secondarily flightless
humans? Maybe; possible secondarily glider-less [not a real word]?

<In the case of colugos, I see no problem in calling them primarily

  I can. Colugos cannot fly. So what if their closest projected
relatives can -- they can't. This means nothing in a mechanical
paradigm. Nothing can be primitively or primarily flightless in any
sense that I can think of unless it lacks the ability to fly that it
did not possess in its ancestry.

<Therefore I would recommend that Eric not take your criticism on this 
point too seriously....>

  Damn, just when I thought I was making my point.... :)

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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