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Re: Of course nonavian dinosaurs could fly - duh

Denver Fowler wrote:

> Elongate feathers on the metatarsus would be
> equally awkward in an arboreal bird as in a
> ground-dwelling bird.

So... what scenarios for lifestyle are we left with? The long legs seem to
indicate a mostly ground dwelling existence. Are there any modern analogs?
I'm guessing that with the long feathers on the feet and lower leg, the
answer is no. Extant long-legged wading birds spend a lot of time roosting
and nesting in branches but those feathery Anchiornis feet would be even
more cumbersome in water than on land or in a tree. Even scratching in the
dirt for food, poultry-style, seems like a bad idea.

Graydon wrote:

> Willow Ptarmigan have extensive foot-feathers
> and run fine.

But those are more like leg warmers than wings.

> Various showy bantam chickens with really
> extensive foot feathers also run fine.

But, IIRC, on chickens the long feathers near the feet become soiled and
worn. Can anyone with recent chicken-raising experience verify this?

Is there any indication on four-winged animals that the leg feathers can
be folded or tucked out of the way?

-- Donna Braginetz