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Re: Status of _Caudipteryx_

  Trying to check my backlog, so this is a few days late.

Ken Kinman (kinman@hotmail.com) wrote:

<Sorry if that term offended you. If it of any consolation, I am
a self-admitted nit-picker when it comes to some things. I am
also sometimes over-opinionated. It's all relative, and such
qualities are widespread among humans to some extent. C'est la

  Yeah, in some cases, life is.

<In any case, I will nit-pick a little further on Miacidae. If
miacid body-form or body-type is to be compared to any living
group, the weasels are a much better comparison (and both being
Caniforms, more closely related).>

  Body type similarity, but relative disparity, is closer. I
could use bears, and be even farther from the body type, even
though they are supposed to be closer to each other than to
cats. Hmpph. So? Cats have longer legs and certain modifications
of the vertebrae and skull that are not immediately discernible,
as well as both dogs and feliforms (for the most part) are
digitigrade [nimravids are not].

<Ijust cringe whenever I hear miacids being discussed as if they
are primitive cats, either cladistically or even in terms of

  Yes, they have been called paleocats, this was not the intent,
but I understand what your talking about. My gripe tends to be
with the consistent use the term "reptile" as equaling the
phrase "cold-blooded." Hah! I laugh at this! Hah! :)


  Anyways, a point: can you prove an a posteriori statement?
Does effect lead to cause, thus stabilizing the theory so that
if a bird like animal is discovered, it must be relative to
flight in any degree? Or can any exaptation in the avian form
have converged to gain flight in some future, to-be-described
form, pre-Archaeopteryx in the geologic record? No one has taken
each of the so-called flight related structures of birds and
unravelled their use as flight structures, though there's been
plenty of evolutionary and systematic studies done on them. The
furcula is being unravelled, as is the avian air-sac system, the
respiratory system otherwise, the pelvis, arm, and tail. These
have been looked at, but in units, rather than in depth. So the
functional evolution of these elements have not been fully
explored, at least for some, and some particulars have not at
all (the wrist, the pygostyle, the shape and form of the skull,
the sternum and keel, the dorsal vertebrae, uncinates, etc.).
The idea that any animal that cannot fly or lacks true flight
characteristics (as in bats, birds, flies, *Ptychozoon* [?]) is
in any way related to flight itself is irrespective of the
functional evolution of a said argument. One stems from the
latter, not leading to the former. Hence Eric Lurio's _a
posteriori_ argument is flawed as I see it, on its face, which
was my gripe.

  I'm done here, too.

Jaime A. Headden

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

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