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RE: Nemicolopterus

Dann Pigdon wrote:

> Nemi's beak looks more like that of a generalist to me (somewhere between
> 'blackbird' and 'miniature stork'). It would appear to be just as useful for
> prying out grubs as for plucking small fruit or foraging in leaf litter.

Yes, I think so too.  And maybe, too, the beak was used to pluck big juicy 
parasites off the backs of sauropods.

Nick Pharris wrote:

> True. Also, even if the authors' ecologial interpretations are all correct, 
> their contention that "[t]he 
> phylogenetic position of Nemicolopterus crypticus suggests that the 
> Ornithocheiroidea originated 
> from crestless and toothless small insectivorous arboreal forms" is tenuous, 
> since it's just as 
> parsimonious to hypothesize that pterosaurs were big honkers all the way back 
> to the base of 
> Pterodactyloidea, with _N._ representing a specialized arboreal lineage with 
> reduced body size.

That scenario seems a lot more likely to me too.  It's funny how late it is in 
the Mesozoic before we find a "specialized arboreal lineage" of pterosaurs.  
Ditto for birds.


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