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Re: Pro(to)avis

----- Original Message -----
From: "jrc" <jrccea@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 6:56 PM

I would suggest that animals that had only a tip fan on their tails could be more likely than others to have hindlimb wings. Animals that had a full tail (Archie) could be more likely to omit or minimise the hindlimb feathers. It appears to me that the hindlimb feathers are likely derived to support the weight of the legs and long tail in those animals that have only tip fans, and that the tail carries that load in animals with full tails, so that there is no selective pressure toward hindlimb wings in full-tail animals.

This makes a major assumption on the orientation and/or mobility of the "hindwings"... the fossils are squished flat, deforming (and often breaking) even the bones, so we should be very careful with that.