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Re: Phorusrhacids killing large mammals in National Geographic Channel

No problem, Tim.

I have seen seriemas in tree trunks, but frankly, never saw them
climbing, so they may have flew over there. I suppose I would have to
search in youtube, spend some time in the zoo, or go to the wild. How
good should be for avian and other dinosaur paleobiological studies to
extensively study correlations between skeletal measurements (or
geometrical morphometry) of modern birds and different behaviors! Not
that they would be entirely comparable with other dinosaurs, of
course. But they may help with inferring diet from toothless beaks,
which is in many cases a topic of contention.

> the idea that psilopterids could fly was rejected by Alvarenga and Höfling 
> (2003), who argued that the ulna was far too short.
> Alvarenga, H.M.F. and Höfling, E. (2003). Systematic Revision of the 
> Phorusrhacidae (Aves: Ralliformes). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 43: 55–91.

True. The coverage of the matter by the paper of Alvarenga and Höfling
seemed scarce to me. I do not know why the observed relative
shortening of the ulna has to hinder flight, anyway, and suppose some
quantitave study based on modern birds or flight mechanics should be
presented to settle the question. The forelimb-hindlimb lenght
proportions seem similar between Cariama and Psilopterus according to
their fig. 3. Also, they show in the figure a specimen showing a
relatively short ulna, but in their table 1 show other specimen with
closer proportions.