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Re: The origin of flight: from the water up (not TOO long)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Edels" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 1:04 AM
> I had said: "Archie specimens [copies] that I've seen do not show
> the post-mortem curvature that appears in some dinosaurs - [...]
> Dan Varner said: "They do show that post-mortem curvature."
> **For additional clarity to my statement - The tendons and muscles that
> support the neck (and those that support the tail) have a tendency to
> post-mortem in the way I described before. Archie shows that curvature in
> the neck, but the tail appears to be straight (see _Compsognathus_
> for comparison). Note that one specimen shows the tail bending the other
> way - i.e. down towards the feet.
This, the 7th specimen, is broken after the first few vertebrae that point
dorsally. The tail is not totally straight in those that are preserved lying
on a side.
> I'm not sure if this indicates that (in Archie):
> 4) It's just a preservational quirk. :-)
> [E.g. the tail was buried quicker than the rest of the body, pinning it
Hard to believe in so many specimens.
> I had said: "and the tail feathers do not appear to be solidly
> Ralph Miller III said: "The feathers appear to hold together as well as
> modern bird feathers do, indicating that the barbs were held together
> with barbules. And none of the feathers is out of place."
> **I meant that the tail feathers weren't *especially* reinforced in their
> linkage, which, to me, would indicate that the tail wasn't especially
> (I like Jaime's description of the tail feathers as probably 'fluffing-up'
> like a squirrel's [or like a frightened cat's]).
I see a misunderstanding here -- you may have wanted to say the tail
feathers are not linked to each other (which they are indeed not), while HP
Ralph Miller said that the individual barbs of one feather appear to be
linked as usual in living birds (looks like it). Right? Anyway, what is
certainly stiff in the tail are the vertebrae and the joints between them;
the feather shafts and their insertions in the tail were probably pretty
stiff, too, because even in the laterally preserved specimens the tail is
twisted so that it shows the dorsal or the ventral side.