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

> Indeed, apparently among the most basal Palaeognathae and
> Neognathae alive (tinamous and galliforms) flight is short,
> and that might be the primitive condition (but not in the
> also basal Anseriformes), and takes origin from the soil.
> Perhaps all the Cretaceous birds were not better flyers than
> tinamous and chickens??.
> After all, it is true that based on the recent evidence,
> flight is more basal than gliding for birds (e.g., tinamous
> and galliforms do not glide, but fly).

But what about Enantiornithes? Confuciusornis?

The lineages coalesce "somewhere" around Archie's time; personally I'd say 
"earlier rather than later". The approaches to powered flight are clearly based 
on the same set of underlying apomorphies, but how they are exploited in 
coordination differs. E.g. pectoral musculature & skeleton, humerus, 
scapulacoracoid, caudal vertebrae all differ among the lineages but are rather 
consistent within. 

It's late in the Late Jurassic, and there is really no fossil record when we 
need it :(

Because then was the time where it became interesting. When birds *became* 
arboreal perchers and self-powered flyers. Everything before is rather easy; 
the question is: how far did they go "before"?

Are there good articulated skeletal reconstructions of any key taxa from Archie 
to 100 Ma? Judging from modded 3d games these days, it should be doable. Rather 
than doing a fancy movie, a model might be stop-motionned and the possible 
airfoil configurations a species could achieve can be determined.



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