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Re: Hoatzin & Archaeopteryx

Jaime A. Headden wrote-

>   If *Microraptor gui* (= *Microraptor zhaoianus?*) had a tuft of
> subparallel feathers arising from the first, alular digit, then so it is
> more likely than not that *Archaeopteryx* would have had one as well, and
> this tuft might be termed an alula, or "protoalula" and the only
> difference in it from other birds its its relative size to the rest of the
> wing and the relative size of the digit it's attached to.

You're forgetting Confuciusornis also lacks an alula (Chiappe et al., 1999),
making Archaeopteryx's apparent lack of one (Elzanowski, 2002) probably
real, and Microraptor's more parsimoniously a convergence.

Mickey Mortimer
Undergraduate, Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
The Theropod Database - http://students.washington.edu/eoraptor/Home.html