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Re: What is biomechanics? (or, The Truth About Flying Snakes - Was: Re: science and philosophy)
--- Colin McHenry <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> John Conway wrote -
> >I'm sorry, I don't think there is "confusion" among cladists that you
> >refer to. In fact there is remarkable consistency - Dromaeosaurs and
> >Troodontids are the closest to birds.
> Which just supports my point. Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids make pretty poor
> precurosrs for a flying animal (from a biomechanical point of view), if you
> ask me.
Did he say "precursor"? No.
_Deinonychosauria_ (including _Dromaeosauridae_ and _Troodontidae_) is the
sister group to _Avialae_ (non Gauthier & de Queiroz), not an ancestral
assemblage. Deinonychosaurs aren't precursors to avians any more than
monotremes are precursors to therian mammals.
> Look, I know that this is the sort of statement that gets quoted back at you
> 20 years later to show just how bad humans are at making predictions, but;
> ....If I was charged with turning a theropod dinosaur into a bird then
> _Velociraptor_ or _Troodon_ are not the sort of animals I'd be starting off
> with. I'd be looking for a small insectivorous thing scurrying around in
> the forests.
_Velociraptor_ and _Troodon_ are from the end of the Mesozoic -- they had
plenty of time to evolve from the eumaniraptoran ancestor of _Deinonychosauria_
and _Avialae_, which may well have been "a small insectivorous thing scurrying
around in the forests".
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