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Re: A four-winged Archaeopteryx?
Okay so I was a bit mean in that post (Chinese coffee
is not strong enough, and I am morning-surly at the
best of times). Longrich does mention the feathers of
falconiformes etc (for which I apologise), but it
still stands that the Archaeopteryx leg feathers do
not seem equivalent to the clearly longer and more
winglike (!) feathers of Microraptor. The 4-winged
idea is not much more valid than for modern birds
which have leg-feathers. I don't think the fossils
strongly show asymmetric vanes etc, that Longrich
asserts, or at least from his figures.
Longrich's study does bring the 'origin of flight'
debate back to where it should be: Archaeopteryx. I
think people have become unneccessarily sidetracked by
these recent spectacular, notably younger Chinese
--- Denver Fowler <email@example.com> wrote:
> eagles have feathers on their hindlimbs just as long
> as seen in the <old photos of> the Berlin
> Archaeopteryx, but noone ever suggested they are
> winged'. Longrich fails to mention this in his paper
> on the subject.
> I don't know if these feathers have a function other
> than for insulation (certainly in colder-claimate
> like the snowy owl they have fine feathers even on
> toes), but they may be asymmetric (I suppose a more
> bird-inclined person may know). I <speculatively>
> suspect these feathers may be used to help steady
> legs for grasping prey, but I'm sure a study has
> conducted (again, not considered by Longrich). So
> if truly present, long hindlimb feathers do not
> necessarily support the 4-winged hypothesis. Maybe
> such feathers would be equally useful in a ground-up
> hypothesis scenario: helping steer long leaps etc.
> --- Guy Leahy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Try the all-new Yahoo! Mail. "The New Version is
> radically easier to use" ? The Wall Street Journal
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