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

Sim Koning wrote:

> so I'm not to entirely sure what I was trying to get at LOL. Anyway, I think 
> my point was that more 
> derived dromaeosaurids were probably descended from arboreal, flying animals, 
> and may have 
> retained their ability to climb rather well, albeit not too habitually. 

Gregory Paul proposed this nearly 20 years ago - that derived dromaeosaurids 
were descendents of small, arboreal flying theropods (like _Archaeopteryx_).  
One day he may be shown to be right.  These days, the idea isn't as 
revolutionary as it once sounded (which is a credit to GSP).

But claiming that _Archaeopteryx_ or any non-avian theropod could "climb rather 
well" is an overstatement, given their overall morphology ('bauplan') and the 
proscribed ranges of motion at the joints (wrists, ankles, shoulders, hips).

> For example, lions are not very good at climbing trees, but they still retain 
> this ability that was inherited
> from their smaller ancestors. 

I didn't know this.  Which "smaller ancestors" do you mean?

> As far as what Archaeopteryx were climbing; the fact that they had greatly 
> elongated hooked fingers 
> seem indicative to me that they climbed through bushes and trees not unlike a 
> Hoatzin chick.

Long fingers tipped with curved claws are standard issue for maniraptoran 
theropods.  Deinonychosaurs used them in predation, and there's no reason why 
they didn't perform the same function in _Archaeopteryx_.  The hands of 
_Archaeopteryx_ might have been used for both climbing and predation.  If they 
were used for climbing, the hands could maybe have been used for grappling 
branches, or grasping trunks with both hands.


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