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Re: Feather Flap
Don Ohmes wrote:
Being more interested in convincing selective scenarios than precise
kinship, I am somewhat agnostic here. That said, can anyone tell where (and
why) the "plant-eating habits" in the article quote pasted below came into
the proposed selective process?
Yes, it's a curious remark that appears to be out of context. My guess (and
that's all it is) is that the writer might have been referring to
therizinosauroids (segnosaurs) and/or basal oviraptorosaurs like
_Incisivosaurus_. These taxa have been interpreted as plant-eaters, and
they evolved from carnivorous theropods.
In either trees down' or 'ground up' I think predatory lifestyles work a
lot better for evolving feathered flight...
I could give you an argument on that. :-)
"Current theory says that over time theropods developed plant-eating
habits, grew feathers to keep warm, and took to the trees for safety."
The first is true, the second is probably true. The third might be true,
but I can think of other reasons why a small theropod might have headed up
into the trees. In any case, all three evolutionay shifts (herbivory;
feathers; arboreality) were probably independent events.
David Marjanovic wrote:
Nope. Feduccia simply asserts, on the second page of that article, that
*M.* was a bird and that the resemblance to "small dinosaurs" is
It should be noted that Feduccia used to claim (quite vehemently in fact)
that the resemblence between _Archaeopteryx_ and dromaeosaurids was entirely
superficial. Now he believes that dromaeosaurids were secondarily
Problem solved, everyone happy. Also quoted is Storrs "BAND leader" Olson
making... peculiar... accusations.
I thought Unwin's comments rang true. If a good hypothesis is challenged,
it can only become stronger in the end. I'd bet this will be the case for
the presence of "protofeathers" in _Sinosauropteryx_, and the larger
hypothesis concerning the origin of feathers in theropods.
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