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Re: Feather Flap

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.<<<

I would side with Tim in that seed-eating is not necessarily indicative of arboreal habbitats. Seeds can and do fall to the forest floor, where even fully arborreal volant birds will go after them if their density and gathering costs are more favorable than the seeds still in the trees.

Jeholornis does not seem to exhibit any particular adapations to arboreality either. I'm more agnostic on omnivopterids. Certainly a little higher up the tree (word-play intended) you start seeing early birds aquire characters that are specializations for abroreality, so it doesn't seem to take too long once birds really get "going" in their radiation.

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

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