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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 "superficial".

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 flightless birds.

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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