[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: WING FEATHER ATTACHMENT
David Marjanovic wrote:
Just like in living birds -- number 2 and only number 2, which was the
longest and most robust one. The thumb and number 3 were free and probably
able to grasp below the wing (best seen in *Confuciusornis*, less obvious
*Archaeopteryx*.) Regardless of whatever you mean by "raptor"... :-)
Oh, and while you are at it, don't put wing feathers on the upper arms.
Do you mean "Don't put flight feathers on the upper arms" or "Don't put
*any* feathers on the upper arms"?
This is an important distinction for both restoring _Archaeopteryx_ and for
adaptive scenarios for the evolution of flight within theropods. No known
specimen of _Archaeopteryx_ preserve tertials (the remiges attached to the
humerus) though in at least two specimens (Berlin and London) the primaries
and secondaries are clearly present.
Then again, no _Archaeopteryx_ specimen shows contour feathers on the body
either. A 19th century sketch of the Berlin specimen does show hair-like
feathers associated the body (perhaps this is what Greg Paul is referring to
in _PDW_). These feathery structures are not now evident on the actual
specimen, either because they were polished away or because they never
existed in the first place.
Was there a gap in _Archaeopteryx's wing between the elbow and the body
wall? Maybe not. It is possible that _Archaeopteryx_'s inner wing was
filled in with a more simplified, primitive type of feather between the most
proximal secondaries and the body wall. These feathers (unlike the more
distal remiges - the primaries and secondaries) were not preserved, just as
the contour feathers on the body were not preserved.
Just a thought. Opposing opinions are welcome.
Timothy J. Williams
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014
Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax: 515 294 3163
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp