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Re: The Epidendrosaurus and aye-aye



Quoting Brett Booth <brettbooth@worldnet.att.net>:

> > Yeah, well, it may be developmental, but HP Marjanovic reminded me that
> > having a third finger longer than the others is just weird no matter how
> > you cut.  So there should be _some_ functional reason as to why that
> > digit is long.  The only two I can think of are grub-grabbing and
> > feather-support (although as HP Paul says, most dinosaurs supported the
> > feather from digit two).   Hmmm---maybe some sort of insect-capturing
> > device.  :)  Hmm, like they thought about Archaeopteryx?  :)
> 
> 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.

I'd say, on the contrary, it looks to me like an animal with a feathered 
forelimb trying to have its cake and eat it, too.  The second finger is short 
and supports the feathers, while the third is elaborated for grasping.

--Nick P.