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RE: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)
Scott Selberg wrote:
> I appreciate that the thread was about archeopteryx climbing ability, but my
> main objecteve was to explain the differences
> in morphology between Archeopteryx and Microraptor and why one had hind wings
> and a well developed sickle claw and
> one did not--that it was primarily a difference in habitat--that Microraptor
> was steering through branches and landing on
> tree trunks, while Archie was simply crash landing on top of small trees.
Yes, but all these things are intimately connected. Your proposed scenarios
for _Archaeopteryx_ and _Microraptor_ are predicated on the assumption that
both theropods were to a large degree 'arboreal'. So we need to examine the
'arboreal' abilities of these theropods (scansoriality, perching, etc) before
looking at the biomechanics of flying and landing in (or on) trees.
I don't deny that there are some very poor climbers among modern gliders (like
the Japanese flying squirrel); and some modern arboreal animals are exceedingly
ungainly in the trees (like the tree kangaroos, which evolved from terrestrial
ancestors). But even these guys have a skeletal anatomy far better adapted for
arboreality than any non-avian theropod or basal bird.
> About Archies climbing ability--it's my understanding that Confuciusornis is
> considered a climber.What adaptions for climbing
> (not including reversed hallux),does it have that Archeapteryx lacks?
None at all, AFAIK. So I would argue that _Confuciusornis_ was no better at
climbing than _Archaeopteryx_ was. _Changchengornis_ shows a slightly better
grasping pes; but the idea that any confuciusornithid was particularly well
adapted to climbing is very poorly supported anatomically.
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