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Re: The secret of bird flight revealed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

> suppose you're all really excited about Jurassic Park III coming out - I
> I'm not a paleontologist (yet!) but it must be great to see your life's
>   on the big screen. It must be very exciting being a paleontogist and
> watching Jurassic Park and its sequel/s.

I think most paleontologists are rather disappointed. I'm sure the archives
are full of lamentations about all those little and not so little mistakes
in JP and The Lost World. There is even a book about this. Of course, the
computer animations are beyond any critics, but...
        Anyway, I am looking forward to JP III.

>    I have  a revolutionary theory on why birds fly I'm sure you'll be
> interested in it. It might get you profesional paleontologists thinking.
> With Velociraptor and all the other super-intelligent raptors roaming
> in the Cretaceous it would be too dangerousd for small dinsoaurs to stay
> the ground - so they started to fly so they could escape. You see, I have
> read that Archeopteryx [Jurassic]was not good at flying - but when killer
> raptors [Crustaceous] staerted to appear all over the world then flying
> became crucially important..  Big dinosaurs like T-rex were OK - they were
> killers two and they had tiny arms. I have found in my research that
> had big arms and could grab little birds 9because birds evolved from
> dinos).
>    I hope you find my theories provoking. I think it is controversial but
> so are many ideas from Bob Bakker, and he (IMHO) he is the most prestigous
> paleontologist ever!! You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs
> haw).

Well, I'm not a professional paleontologist with my 18 1/2 years, even
though I want to become one, but -- :.-( -- I think I can tell you the idea
you present is neither revolutionary nor provoking nor new. (As an example,
HP Filippo Calzolari mentioned "predator pressure" as leading to the
evolution of flight just a few days ago.)
        So what? The idea has a few flaws IMHO. For example, dromaeosaurs
(the group *Velociraptor* belongs to) had been around long before the
Cretaceous, if you accept teeth as evidence (can't judge for myself, haven't
seen the paper), then this group extends all the way back to the _Early
Jurassic_, as HP Mickey Mortimer pointed out in December. Furthermore,
predators of *Velociraptor* size have been around now for a long time, and
yet flight has only evolved 3 times among vertebrates.
        There are other, much easier ways to escape predators, such as
running away (prime example: ostriches, who even lost the ability to fly in
an environment full of predators), hiding, climbing into trees ...

BTW, it is rarely useful to glorify persons in science. I don't want to
question that Bakker has earned quite some prestige and usually does good
science (lots of the arguments in his 1986 "Heresies" are still considered
correct), but when you think of his opinion (does he still think so?) that
the non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out by diseases... (has been discussed
onlist in spring 1994).

*T. rex*.

>    If you want to hear my other ideas on dinosaur evoluton I will be happy
> to discuss them.  Some I can not reveal because they are still TOP SECRET
> (haw haw).

Will be glad to read them (honestly)! I'm sure there is something in them
that no one else has yet thought about.