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Re: Jurassic Park 4 Script Review

>>>I think we can all agree that _Microraptor_ was capable of some form of 
>>>aerial locomotion.  I think we can also also agree that _Microraptor_ was 
>>>incapable of a running take-off.  So then, it needed an elevated site for 
>>>its aerial launches.  Why not trees?<<<

I don't think we can all agree to this, sorry :)

   Sure, Microraptor was utilizing its feathers in an aerodynamic fashion, but 
it is not at all obvious that is was the type of flight that you are thinkng of 
when you say it was "incapable of a running takeoff."  Everyone thinks that the 
ground-up origin of flight means learning to fly from the ground, rather than 
just, say, leaping after prey (and in the case of Microraptor, getting some 
really good 'hangtime').  

     Certainly the 'raptors of JP fame were not leaping out of trees.  Oh, and 
I just got back from Japan, where I saw numerous Microraptor specimens, with 
the "buttfans" in different positions of folding up against the leg.  And if 
the fold up out of the way, Microraptor and all other dromaeosaurs are well 
adapted for running.  Butt fans = contol rudders.  Perfect for landing on prey 
that doesn't want you there (frogs, mammals, or whatnot in the case of 

It _would_ be nice to get full fluff, complete with tail fans and wings on the 
JP 'raptors.


Scott Hartman
Zoology & Physiology
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY 82070

(307) 742-3799