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Re: Feather Flap

Mickey Mortimer wrote:

If people like Scott are right and taxa like Archaeopteryx and Microraptor with unreversed halluces were still terrestrial, the most basal arboreal maniraptorans would be jeholornithids and omnivoropterygids. The latter clades preserve seeds and gastroliths in their body cavities, indicating at least partially herbivorous habits.

Were the climbing/perching abilities of jeholornithids or omnivoropterygids necessarily superior to those of archaeopterygids or microraptorans? It was my impression that they weren't (or at least, not by much).

I might be over-interpreting what you said, but I'm not sure that the presence of seeds or gastroliths in the body cavity is a reliable indicator of arboreal habits. _Jinfengopteryx_ (certainly non-avian, and possibly troodontid) may also preserve seeds in its body cavity, depending upon the identity of those orange-ish "oval structures". Ji et al. (2005) suggest they might be "seeds or nuts".

I guess you mean gastroliths might only be indicative of herbivorous habits in avian taxa, given that gastroliths are also documented for _Caudipteryx_, _Sinornithomimus_, _Baryonyx_, _Lourinhanosaurus_, and some other other non-avian theropods that I've forgotten.



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