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Re: Pterosaur origins again, Hone and Benton 2007



Scott Selberg wrote:

 This may seem to split hairs, but if I understand correctly this doesn't
say that dromaeosaurs were NOT secondarily flightless, just hat they were
not secondarily flightless BIRDS. Do I have it?

Wouldn't that depend on what, exactly, you mean by "bird"? In this discussion alone I've seen it used for _Ornithurae_ (not sure which exact sense), the branch-based sense of _Avialae_, and the _Archaeopteryx_+_Ornithurae_ node (_Aves_ sensu Chiappe 1997). (Or is the argument that dromaeosaurids were not part of apomorphy-based _Avialae_?)

David Peters wrote:

>Also nice to know those tiny lateral fingers and toes will somehow become
>hypertrophied.

Stranger things have happened.  After all, the elongated hallux that allows
birds to perch in trees evolved from one tiny lateral toe in terrestrial
theropods.   It's amazing what natural selection can achieve, irrespective
of our own personal credulity.

Developmentally, it's not really that amazing, is it?

--
Mike Keesey