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Re: a theory regarding maniraptoran origins
Quoting Anthony Docimo <email@example.com>:
Nowadays, many gliding species (at least of mammals) go horizontal
while gliding....but when they are about to land on the next tree
trunk, they arch their bodies so their hind legs hit the tree first.
With the hypothetical rats, it was a short step from such gliding, to
gliding rats that developed hind-claws -- just like the maniraptors.
Folding up the third 'wing' (the tail fan) at the last moment might
have facilitated this. Of course in 4-winged (or 5-winged if you
include the tail) species, the lowering of the hind limbs for landing
would have facilitated this even further (assuming the 'butt fans'
played any part in generating lift in the first place).
GIS / Archaeologist http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs