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Re: pterosaur femora sprawl
Tim Williams wrote:
As a postscript, I'll only mention that if the origin of avian flight had
an arboreal component, then such pre-avian maniraptorans would probably
have climbed trees in a quadrupedal fashion, and may have employed all
four limbs in gliding (microraptor-style).<
I think Dial demonstrated rather convincingly several years ago how a
feathered pre-avian maniraptoran with an incipient "flight stroke"
capability (selected for whatever reason) could have exploited an arboreal
environment. Once in the trees, such an animal would have needed to return
to the ground somehow, and using whatever aerodynamic function existed in
their "proto-wings" for that purpose could have been advantageous for a
number of reasons. If there was an arboreal stage in the origin of avian
flight, which is an open question, I don't see a compelling argument for the
necessity of either a quadrupedal climbing or a four-limb gliding phase.