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

> Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 00:36:53 +0200
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> Subject: Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archaeopteryx
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sim Koning" 
> Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 9:16 AM

>> Also, the greatly elogated digits of an Archaeopteryx manus could have
>> been entirely an adaption for an arboreal lifstyle.

> They are not elongated at all compared to other maniraptorans. They don't
> need an explanation. And incidentally, they are considerably longer than a
> hoatzin's.

 I see what you mean; I was comparing the hand size with the overall body size, 
but when you compare the hand's length relative to the rest of the arm they 
seem like perfectly normal maniroptaran hands.

>> In fact the greatly elogated 3rd digit of an assumption manus closely
>> resembles the elongated toes of an iguana's foot.
> To me it looks like if this animal used anything for climbing, it was the
> first two fingers, not the third, which is lengthened so it can be stuck
> into holes in trees...

I think that's more or less an assumption drawn from a (poor) comparison with 
the aye aye. If you look at an aye-aye's "probing" finger, you'll notice that 
it's not the longest finger on the hand, just the thinnest. The hand of 
Epidendrosaurus more closely resemble the configuration of an Iguana's hind 
foot. The greatly elongated toe of an iguana's foot is used as a simple hook to 
catch hard to read branches, it's purely an arboreal adaptation.