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Re: flying Archie
Mike Keesey wrote:
I was referring to _Rahonavis ostromi_, the only known Late Cretaceous
bony-tailed bird (unless
I'm missing something).
There is _Yandangornis_ - assuming it's (a) a bird, and (b) from the Late
Cretaceous. Cai and Zhao (1993) believe (a) to be true, although Unwin and
Lu (1997), in an article devoted to the associated pterosaur
_Zhejiangopterus_, say it is "possibly a dromaeosaur". The Tangshang
Formation is dated to around 81.5 Ma (Campanian), so (b) would appear to be
true. Cai and Zhao also seem to imply that _Yandangornis_ couldn't fly.
Bats, which are small, roost upside down, are frequently nocturnal, and
tend to roost in cold locations, may have an unusual set of selection
pressures about tails just on thermal issues.
I don't know about thermal issues, but in some bats the tail is thought to
serve a tactile/sensory function (molossids and rhinopomatids come to mind).
One bat (Natterer's bat) has a tail fringed with hair that is said to be
used as an insect-catching net, but I don't know if this is true or not.
This is much the same thing as saying that T. rex was a more effective
predator than Coelophysis,
though -- it's not a comment on the bauplan so much as a comment on the
expected results of inter-bauplan competition over a long period of time.
Yes, this is what I was getting at too. It is difficult to say which is
the "better" predator, when the respective styles of predation were so
different. So to with _Archaeopteryx_ and modern birds, which had/have
different styles of aerial flight.