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2nd toe (was Jeholornis)



First of all, is the hyperextendable second toe a feature shared by related bird
groups?

Secondly, perhaps the toe's function was as a climbing aid.  Fingered birds
lacked alulas, (or is it alulae?) and so wouldn't be as good at fluttering
around in trees.  Climbing, with the aid of piton-like claws on the feet and
hands, might have been very useful.

Dan