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Re: four winged Archaeopteryx

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ottawa Paleontological Society" <paleo@ncf.ca>
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2006 9:42 PM

It is too bad that the fossil record is so fragmentary as it would be
fascinating if tailess forms appeared during a radiation into a new set of
niches and co-existed with the long tailed forms for a fair period of time
(especially if secondary characteristics changed at the same time).

The former may be difficult to test, but the latter is the case in bats (extant *Rhinopoma*), pterosaurs (*Herbstosaurus*, Middle Jurassic, supposed to have a short tail; *Pterorhynchus*, Early Cretaceous, long tail), and of course theropods themselves (*Noguerornis*, Berriasian [beginning of Early Cretaceous], short tail; *Rahonavis*, Maastrichtian [end of Late Cretaceous = almost 80 Ma later!], long tail).

By the way, what do people think of the idea that birds outcompeted
terrestrial forms for the smallest predatory niches in the late Cretaceous?

The mammals don't seem to have noticed...