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Re: Aquatic Origin of birds (was Aquatic spinosaurs (was Size of *Neoceratodus africanus*))

Amtoine Grant <rascienz@shaw.ca> wrote:

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't
> the earliest specimens of Archaeopteryx found in
> aquatic  deposits from ecosystems relatively devoid of
> trees? 

I'm not saying you're wrong; but I think the answer might be more complicated.  
According to one ref (Viohl, 1985), _Archaeopteryx_'s  Solnhofen habitat was "a 
bushland of conifers and Bennititaleans alternating with areas of sparse 

Also, because _Archaeopteryx_ could fly (probably), its ecology presumably 
wasn't limited to the immediate vicinity of Solnhofen.

Erik Boehm wrote:

> Has anyone suggested bird-like feathers + wings
> evolved first as flippers?

There was some paper by a guy named Klaus Ebel, who argued that bird flight 
(and pterosaur flight too) evolved in the water.  Then again, he also argues 
that all saurischian dinosaurs (non-avian) were aquatic.  That tells you where 
he's coming from.

> I think small aquatic dino-birds might not fossilize
> too well, and wouldn't leave much evidence..

I'd expect aquatic 'dino-birds' to have a much better chance of fossilization 
than inland, forest-living 'dino-birds'.