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Re: flying Archie
Dann Pigdon wrote:
Why would any Jurassic flyer resemble a creature that has another 140
million years of natural selection under it's belt?
That's an interesting question, because the _Archaeopteryx_-style mode of
flight (whatever it was) may have persisted for a considerable time beyond
the Jurassic. _Archaeopteryx_-style fliers may have coexisted with birds
that flew in essentially the same way as modern birds well into the
Cretaceous. Both short-tailed and long-tailed birds are represented in the
Jehol biota, after all. Perhaps the 'old' and 'new' fliers coexisted right
up to the end of the Cretaceous, depending upon how close _Rahonavis_ was to
_Archaeopteryx_ in its aerial locomotor abilities.
There could have been advantages to _Archaeopteryx_-style flight compared to
modern avian flight. It might have been energetically 'cheaper', especially
if aerial locomotion was only needed over short distances. I don't know
how similar Late Jurassic Bavaria was to Late Cretaceous Madagascar, but
_Rahonavis_ (if indeed it was very similar to _Archaeopteryx_) might be a
relict that survived so late due to exceptional local circumstances.
That's like asking: "If australopithecines made tools, then what sort of
MP3 players did they use?"
Probably an Empeg Car.