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Re: Theropod herbivory - parallel evolution or one clade?

At 7:06 PM -0600 11/16/06, Tim Williams wrote:
>If _Incisivosaurus_ is a herbivore, as interpreted by Xu et al. (2002), then 
>herbivory/omnivory may be primitive for the Oviraptoriformes.  Given the 
>suggestion that troodontids may have been omnivorous, this dietary preference 
>may be primitive for a much wider group, like Maniraptora.  Maybe the 
>immediate ancestors of birds were omnivores, and began climbing trees in order 
>to nibble on leaves?  Many evolutionary scenarios have focused on the possible 
>role of predation in the evolution of avian flight, but a possible role for 
>herbivory has received far less attention, AFAIK.

If the ancestral forms were omnivores, wouldn't they be more likely to be 
climbing trees to get fruits and seeds than to eat leaves? It's interesting to 
note that the Yixian includes early flowering plants as well as birds and 
feathered climbers like Microraptor. 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jhecht.net
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