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RE: L'origine et l'évolution des oiseaux, with a
David Peters wrote:
> > Longisquama and Sharovipteryx are "terrestrial
> > predators that were fleet-footed hunters" now?
> Well, let's put it this way... they were not eating
> plants...right? 'Predators' are not just predators
> of vertebrates.
I think it was more the "terrestrial" and "fleet-footed" adjectives that were a
little startling, more so than "predator" and "hunter".
Even if _Longisquama_ and _Sharovipteryx_ targeted insects or worms, I guess
they could be called "hunters". The insects and worms would certainly think
so. I won't quibble this point.
> As for your thought experiment, kites are made of stiff
> paper, crossed strips of wood and string. How is this
I once had a kite made of plastic. It was soft and flexible - which was good
for both of us when it fell out of the sky on to my head.
> As for Sharovipteryx, the membrane trails the leg, extends
> something like a Japanese paper fan (were you thinking this
> and wrote that?),
But since you bring it up... strap two large Japanese paper fans to your legs
and see how fast you can run. Give it a try! I'm not talking about a thought
experiment here. Go to your local park and try it out! Bring a stopwatch with
you. And a measuring tape too, to see if your leg-fans improve your jumping
prowess. Put your experiment on YouTube - I'd like to see it.
> and thus it reduces drag (think of biplane
> wires vs. struts) while remaining fully collapsible. With an
> elongated ilium and a tibia longer than the femur, and tiny
> forelimbs, Sharoviptryx is a classic bipedal
I wouldn't have equated "classic bipedal cursor/saltator" with having kite-like
or fan-like patagia attached to the hindlimbs and tail.
> With regard to the 'missing' hindlimbs of
> Longisquama, you also can rely on phylogenetic bracketing.
I'm sure _Longisquama_ had hindlimbs. I'm not sure they were long. I'm also
not sure that phylogenetic bracketing tells us so in this case.
BTW, did you use hindlimb characters from _Longisquama_ in the matrix for your