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Re: Inglourious New Papers

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 9:27 AM, Jerry D. Harris<jharris@dixie.edu> wrote:
> Maxwell, E.E., and Larsson, H.C.E. 2009. Comparative ossification sequence
> and development of the postcranium of palaeognathous birds (Aves:
> Palaeognathae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 157(1):169-196.
> doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00533.x.
> ABSTRACT: Palaeognaths constitute one of the most basal lineages of extant
> birds, and are also one of the most morphologically diverse avian orders.
> Their skeletal development is relatively unknown, in spite of their
> important phylogenetic position. Here, we compare the development of the
> postcranial skeleton in the emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae), ostrich
> (Struthio camelus), greater rhea (Rhea americana) and elegant
> crested-tinamou (Eudromia elegans), focusing on ossification. All of these
> taxa are characterized by element loss in the appendicular skeleton, but
> there are several developmental mechanisms through which this loss occurs,
> including failure to chondrify, failure to ossify and fusion of cartilages
> prior to ossification.

Are these mechanisms different across the different taxa or different
for different skeletal elements? (Or both?)
In other words, what does this say about palaeognathes being
primitively volant/nonvolant?

T. Michael Keesey
Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
Glendale, California