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Re: Gansus Bird-Dino Connection - Penn Press Release

 Then why do most Archaeopteryx reconstructions show it in trees?


There are quite a number of reasons, many of which are of dubious logic.

One reason was that Archaeopteryx appeared to have a long reversed hallux with a highly curved claw, initially. However, the most recent specimen demonstrated that the Archaeopteryx lacked a reversed hallux.

Additionally, arboreal gliding hypotheses for Archaeopteryx require an elevated launch point. There are a couple of problems with this model, one of them being that the arguments tend to be circular.

However, arboreality and perching may not always correlate 1:1. Archaeopteryx, and several other Cretaceous birds (as well as Microraptor and kin) may have climbed quadrapedally, without actually perching. Many modern birds that retreat to trees cannot really 'perch' in the technical sense. However, such a model is very speculative at present.


--Mike Habib

On Friday, June 16, 2006, at 04:47 PM, Ian Paulsen wrote: