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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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