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Re: Lemurs and Feathers



In a message dated 6/19/01 5:31:47 PM EST, TomHopp@aol.com writes:

<< The problem with underwater flight is lack of fossil evidence. The 
 progression from non-avian to avian forelimb occurred in animals that ALL 
had 
 long thin hind limbs. They were not swimmers (other than when forced to, 
 perhaps) -- they were born to run. >>

The problem with cladistic analysis of theropods is that it misleads one into 
thinking that the common ancestors of  theropods and birds more closely 
resembled the theropods rather than the birds. There is no reason to favor 
this viewpoint over the opposite, namely, that the common ancestors of 
theropods and birds more closely resembled birds (in appearance and 
behavior). The fossil record supports neither viewpoint, or rather, either 
viewpoint equally, since it does not provide any fossils sufficiently close 
to those common ancestors to resolve the issue. Lack of fossil evidence 
hampers >all< scenarios of the origin of avian flight.