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Re: Dinosaurs and birds

Is the non-flying _Archaeopteryx_ idea still around? <<

It had sure better be. Outside of the assymetrical feathers (which is a drag-reducing adaptation, not a lift-generating one, although the two are related) there isn't any terribly good reason to assume Archaeopteryx was volant. It _may_ have been, but it would have to get around the glenoid not being oriented for completel upstrokes, the lack of an ossified sternum for hypertrophied musculature attachment, the lack of a pulley-like supracoracoideus needed to prevent dislocation of the humerus during downstrokes, and some problems with the wings (you'll hear more around SVP time).

The assumption that Archaeopteryx was volant has been grandfathered in for nearly a century and a half because we all "knew" it was the "first" bird, so heck, it must have flown. It has never been properly tested, and frankly, comments like these continue to foster the idea that it doesn't need testing.

Scott Hartman
Science Director
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333


Is the non-flying _Archaeopteryx_ idea still around?Â
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