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Re: Phylogeny of Maniraptora

Quoting Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>:

> >You get something like flapping from the predatory stroke if you push a 
> >basal maniraptoran out of a tree; it may not do any good, but that's what 
> >its arms _do_ when trying to move rapidly, they're not the peculiar
> >wide-range-of-motion things people have got.
> Sorry, I don't follow.  Why would the maniraptoran flail its arms around in 
> a predatory-stroke-like motion when falling from a tree?

I think the idea is, the bones, muscles, and tendons in the maniraptoran arm 
are configured in such a way that if the maniraptoran flails its arms at all 
(something animals are known to do when they tumble through the air), the 
flailing motion will at least approximate the motion of the predatory strike.

> if a maniraptoran can get up a tree, it must have the 
> ability to get down.

Well, to be fair, I can think of a lot of animals (myself included) that are 
better at climbing up trees than getting back down!

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan