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Re: Velociraptor profiles and a little background

----- Original Message -----
From: <philidor11@snet.net>
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 12:15 AM [00:15 AM over here]

> And you responded:
> <Exactly as I wrote: you start out with a fully feathered, fully
> winged coelurosaur.>
> Well, I didn't say anything about winged.  Wings reduced arm/hand
> capabilities so much that I have to think some progress toward
> moving through the air was made before full wings would add more
> than they lost.

Keep in mind that the wing feathers are attached to the caudal edge of the
hand, while the claws point ventromedially. There's quite a lot one can
still do with clawed wings.

> A number of birds, not all, that concentrate on swimming lose
> much of their wings, so swimming's not the first thing I think
> of as encouraging wing development.

I repeat: I think full-fledged wings [artificial pun] were present before
any sort of flight. Dippers, auks etc. don't reduce their wings.

> When I observed that 'feathered' animals could, and maybe did,
> try a lot of different strategies, you commented:
> <"Possible [they tried different strategies]" or "yes"? If "yes",
> you are arguing for a pretty extreme generalist... might be improbable.>
> Thinking of isolated populations.  A group of animals in one
> location may find a particular strategy most effective, another
> group a different one. The different selective pressures would
> eventually produce different species.

And only one of these can be ancestral to birds (however indirectly, and
whatever the definition of bird is):

> I'm suggesting multiple correct
> answers for the lifestyle of feathered, pre-bird animals.  Only
> one or a few of these groups ever flew.

> *************************************
> Aw. We should have had these amounts of snow in winter and not
> now in mid-spring. The weather is getting crazier and crazier.

I should make clear that the snow has hardly reached the ground. It's still
a bit too warm for snow to stay. :-) In the mountains, though, chaos has