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Re: Status of _Caudipteryx_

  I appologize for the lateness of this reply to the one who
inquired, though I am posting to the list, I have been very busy
the last few days trying to get some material handled for some
projects I have on the table.

  I have been shown that one phrase I wrote on the 5th of
January was convoluted and not as clear as I had hoped, probably
leaving an object out or something.

I wrote:

<<The idea that any animal that cannot fly or lacks true flight
characteristics (snip) is in any way related to flight itself is
irrespective of the functional evolution of a said argument.>>

  Flight follows certain parameters of a dynamic morphology;
this includes area of the flight surface to mass, muscular
effort in the means for delivering thrust, and mean body
morphology. If this does not exist, an animal cannot fly. If
there are two organisms which are said to be closely related by
recent analysis, of which one can fly and the other _can't_,
then any statement that offers that that non-flying organism is
related to the evolution of flight in the flying animal is not
testable, observable, and is a strict _a posteriori_ argument on
its face. As such, one can posit a rlationship that a flying
animal may have gone through a flying phase, as in bats and
colugos have been hypothesized, as Chatterjee and Feduccia
propose for birds; but what one _cannot_ do is say that this is
in fact the even that took place and subsequent statements
furthering this are irrelevant to the evolutionary paradigm. You
can look for evidence, but unless a chick undergoes a "glider"
morphology in its development, this will very likely never occur.

Jaime A. Headden

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

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