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Re: Question about Archaeopteryx's (non) reversed hallux
David Marjanovic wrote:
No theropods except Scansoriopterygidae and Ornithothoraces have reversed
halluces, in spite of earlier mistaken reconstructions. *Confuciusornis*
has medially directed ones -- the intermediate condition.
Can we be sure that scansoriopterygids (_Epidendrosaurus_ and
_Scansoriopteryx_) have a reversed hallux? While it is true that metatarsal
I articulates fairly distally on the pes, such that its trochlea is around
the same level as the trochleae of digits II-IV, the morphological
correlates of a *reversed* hallux have yet to be identified in the
_Epidendrosaurus_ or _Scansoriopteryx_ specimens. (Refer to Scott's post to
see what I mean.) BTW, I'm not discounting the possibility that
scansoriopterygids might have a reversed hallux. What I'm saying is that
this determination will have to await a thorough examination of the halluces
of these specimens.
As for Ornithothoraces, I don't believe there is any evidence that a
reversed hallux is primitive for this group. It is more likely that
enantiornitheans and euornitheans (including Neornithes) evolved a reversed
But to reiterate another of David's points, reconstructions that show(ed)
_Archaeopteryx_ with a reversed hallux are mistaken.