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Re: Raptors climbing trees?
they are specialised. Dromaeosaurs may be /derived/, but that is not
the same as specialised.
If we can't see what they're specialised /for/, then we can't know
For example, /Homo/ is a pretty derived genus, but also one helluva
That's of course true, but only serves to delineate the limits of
current methodology; it can't be used as evidence for an evolutionary
scenario that contradicts the adapations that are acruing across
Also your example is (IMO) instructive; future (alien?) paleontologists
certainly could not infer specific human behavior from morphology alone
(though one imagines an abundance of archaeological data may be
available), yet given a fossil record similar to the one we currently
have the trend towards a larger brain would be clear. Since higher EQ
more or less correlates with increases in behavioral felxibility
(especially within clades) they most certainly could infer that we were
adapting (specializing, I dare say) in behavioral flexibility while
losing some physical prowess.
In short, if they found an airplane or perhaps our tracks on the moon I
think these hypothetical paleontologists would attribute those
behaviors to our increased cranial capacity rather than plesiomorphic
(and reduced) abilities that allow us to move about in trees...
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333