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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.

Graydon wrote:

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.