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

----- Original Message -----
From: "Augusto Haro" <augustoharo@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 8:39 PM

David: that *Archaeopteryx* is relatively basal and *Microraptor* not so
much is important in reconstructing the ancestral state for Aves, with
respect to the possession of long metatarsal feathers or not. [...]
This all indicates there is no evidence for a *
Tetrapteryx* stage in the origin of avian flight.


Applying the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket approach (Witmer, 1995), we should
infer, if there is no compelling anatomical evidence against, that abduction
was possible at full retraction not only in *Microraptor*, but in other
dinosaurs as well, as it is present in their closest living relatives,
Crocodylia and Neornithes.

But the EPB does not apply here. It applies to things we cannot directly derive from the fossils and have to infer using extant taxa. It's a parsimony approach.

However, even when Cracraft 71' proved abduction coupled with full
retraction was possible for birds,

For Neornithes, you mean.