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RE: Archie a non-flyer? (was:Re: origin of bats/reply 2 to TMK)



Jaime Headden wrote:


> Yes, and I noted a week or so ago that beyond a limited range in southern 
> Germany, Archie is otherwise unknown. 


cf. _Archaeopteryx_ teeth have been recorded from Guimarota, but they don't 
count.


> This suggests it was limited in extent, and possibly in ability to extend its 
> range. 


I've wondered this myself.  _Archaeopteryx_'s insular habitat might have had an 
impact on its morphology.  Then again, birds with similar bauplans are found 
elsewhere (e.g., _Jeholornis_, _Jixiangornis_).


> The range may be analogous to the range of the solitaires 
> and dodos in the near-Madagascan islands of the Indian Ocean, which arrived 
> there when flighted, then lost the ability fairly rapidly.


They also shrunk their wings pretty rapidly too.  No sign of that in 
_Archaeopteryx_.   If you're indeed arguing that _Archaeopteryx_ was 
secondarily flightless, that is.  If so, there could be an argument that 
_Archaeopteryx_'s forelimbs could resume a predatory role, given that the manus 
was not yet fully absorbed into the flight apparatus.


> It may also be the largest non-fully terrestrial carnivore in the Solnhofen 
> limestone, given that crocs were confined to the water for the 
> most part, 


How big did the Solnhofen pterosaurs get?


>*Compsognathus*/*Juravenator* were probably the arch terrestrial predator, but 
>that may not leave much more to its habitat. I 
> don't think its diet is even fairly grounded at this point.  Recurved, 
> compressed, small, relatively even teeth imply some possible 
> insectivory, and I am sure the teeth of *Compsognathus* imply more 
> flesh-processing capability.


The type specimen of _Compsognathus_ has a small lizard (_Bavarisaurus_) in its 
stomach; and the related GMV 2124 (formerly _Sinosauropteryx_) includes mammal 
jaws in its stomach contents.  So small vertebrate prey would appear to be 
favored by these particular theropods.


Cheers

Tim


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