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RE: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)



"Nova: The Four-Winged Dinosaur" addresses the issue of the femoral position
of _Microraptor_ and the question of the aerodynamic function of the hind
limb feathers, pitting Norell, Ellison and Brougham against (who else?)
Martin and Burnham, while also briefly dusting off the "debate" over the
theropodan ancestry of birds for those who have been out of the loop for the
last 40 years.  I really would have liked to have seen Gregory S. Paul put
in his two cents worth, but he "didn't make the cut."  

The documentary is hardly the last word on these issues, but it does give
one the distinct impression that some fudging was employed by Martin and
Burnham to give their restoration the sprawling hind legs their pet
hypothesis required.

See the show for free on line at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/microraptor/.
 
Dino Guy Ralph
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
Dinosaur and Fossil Education
Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
David Marjanovic
Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2008 6:20 AM
To: DML
Subject: Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)

> As Cracraft (1971) indicated, femoral position is not
> always restricted to the parasagittal plane in birds, and thus there does
> not seem to be impedement for gliding.

It is damn near restricted to the parasagittal plane _in *Microraptor* 
itself_. Download the 2002 paper on *Microraptor* (Hwang et al., American 
Museum Bulletin) and have a good, long look at the figure that shows the hip

region.