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Re: A New Hypothesis for the Origin of Flight?



The recent discussion on short-tailed vs long-tailed theropods (and why the
difference) brought to mind this paper;

Carrier, D.R., Walter, R.M., and Lee, D.V. (2001).  Influence of rotational
inertia on turning performance of theropod dinosaurs: Clues from humans with
increased rotational inertia.  Journal of Experimental Biology 204 (22):
3917-3926.

Carrier et al. advance a biomechanical explanation for some of the derived
characters seen in maniraptorans: retroverted pubis; short tail; perhaps
even the ability to fold the hands against the body.  The correlation
between phylogeny and the first appearance of certain characters is perhaps
a little simplistic, and I don't agree with all of their conclusions.  But
food for thought, at least.

Gotta run.



Tim





------------------------------------------------------------ 

Timothy J. Williams 

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

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163