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Re: tiny theropod on a tree trunk question

Pat Norton (ptnorton@suscom-maine.net) wrote:

<All the Piciforms (not just woodpeckers) have the first and fourth toes
reversed, although not all are trunk climbers (Toucans, for example).  At the
same time, Nuthatches and Creepers are trunk climbers, but don't have the
zygodactylous foot found in woodpeckers.>

  Yet the behavior I described is known specifically only in some woodpeckers,
so I restricted my comments to them, but perhaps I could have specifically
indicated the Picidae as downward trunk-climbers? Nonetheless, the ability to
twist the ankle in mammals is what gives squirrels (and apparently ONLY
squirrels among mammals, though I may be underestimating the koalas and
phalangers among marsupials, though these animals appear to function more as do
primates with opposable digits, which squirrels lack) the ability to climb down
a trunk, while keeping firm grip.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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