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RE: New dinobird "Sinovenator" (the basal _Troodontid_)

Rutger Jansma wrote:

>The overall similarities to Archaeopteryx can also be explained by it's
>more basal position in the Deinonychosauria, since (what a suprise) it >has
evolved from a Archeopteryx type of creature. Greg Paul must be >laughing
his pants of since he was the one who thought a decade ago or >so that the
"maniraptors" were secondary flightles and had to have >evolved from flying
ancestors. [snip] I think we all need to give HP >G.S. Paul a very big
appologie! :)

Hold the phones.  Greg Paul may indeed be correct; but equating (1) a basal
position for _Archaeopteryx_ relative to deinonychosaurs with (2)
deinonychosaurs being secondarily flightless is not entirely correct.  (At
least not yet.)  Other scenarios are equally plausible - and equally
congruent with the observed distribution of characters.  For example: basal
paravians were small-bodied, flightless predators that leaped from trees
onto prey below.  Only the Avialae stuck to this technique - and refined it

To find out what is most likely to have happened (i.e. what basal paravians
were doing), we still need to identify a taxon basal to the
Deinonychosauria-Avialae split, hopefully with integument intact.  Or just
ask Ken.

>Oh yeah, before I forget: great thanks to everyone from my friend for
>helping with it's schoolproject

"It"?  What kind of company are you keeping, Rutger?  




Timothy J. Williams 

USDA-ARS Researcher 
Agronomy Hall 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50014 

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163