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Re: The Epidendrosaurus and aye-aye

on 10/7/02 3:43 PM, David Marjanovic at david.marjanovic@gmx.at wrote:

>> I would say that the elongated third finger is an early offshot of flight.
>> Before Archie when bird were first experimenting. A small group tried
>> attaching the flight feathers to the third digit instead of the second,
>> leaving the second digit free for grasping.
> By no means impossible, but to me this sounds like wings must have evolved
> twice. (If not some frameshift... grr... ;-) )

Well, not really. It just means that after proto wings evolved they might
have taken several different paths. One going along the Archie lines using
the second finger another line using the third finger. Or perhapse it was a
secondarily flightless animal that tried to re-evolve flight, just an idea.

>> These creatures are just the
>> remnants of a branch that eventually died out. Perhapse they couldn't
>> compete, the third finger couldn't be as reinforcd as the second (in
> birds)
>> so they weren't as stable in flight thus eventually going extinct.
> Then why did they survive for so long that they could drive the adaptation
> so far, and for so long that we find them as fossils? Assuming possible
> reinforcement is really different. Archie's 2nd finger is hardly reinforced,
> after all.

Well if both types of wings were about equal UNTIL the hand bones started to
fuse, once that happend the classic wing design won out and was more
effective than Epidendros. That might explain it, or I could be totally off
the mark. Unfortunately we'll never know, I just think the Aye-Aye thing is
real implausible. If no one had mentioned the possible connection between
the two would anyone else have made the assumption after seeing the

>> While I find this interesting, it's not relly that shocking. Just imagine
>> the other failed attempts.
> Why do you think there were several?

It a logical assuption when you factor in different terrain. I mean look at
the fossil record and real life animals that fligh and glide. Alot of
differnt ways to do it. There had to be some less successful animals with
some odd adaptions that were replaced.

>> I watched the Aye-Aye on the TV the other day. The animal uses a complex
>> technique for finding food (ears, nose, teeth AND finger) Epidendrosaurus
>> doesn't seam specilized enough to do the same thing.
> Yeah. Now for the inner ears and a nice little skull endocast of the
> dinosaur... :-)

You could toss in some skin/feather colors too! It would make my life a
whole lot easier!

> I just hope there are enough paleontologists to work on Wucaiwan, too! :-)
> The SVP abstract about that place (Xinjiang, pretty certainly Late Jurassic,
> chock full of tritylodontids) sounds sooo promising... an
> ?ornithomimosaur... a ??troodontid... :-9

I want a BIG theropod with feathers, now THAT would be something!