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Re: flying Archie

On 9/24/06, Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:

Good points, but...

This could have been one selective pressure that kept _Archaeopteryx_ in its
plesiomorphic coleurosaurian body plan.

Why does selective pressure need to be invoked? This is the earliest known winged theropod, and it's probably not too far removed, chronologically, from the very first ones. Long tails are just the ancestral state--perhaps there had not been enough time to "evolve out of them".

(And, actually, _Archaeopteryx_' tail is rather reduced compared to
other theropods of the time.)
T. Michael Keesey
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
Parry & Carney: http://parryandcarney.com