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Re: nocturnal Archaeopteryx

On Wed, Apr 7th, 2010 at 1:13 AM, "Richard W. Travsky" <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> 

> darn interesting
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627545.500-archaeopteryx-may-have-hunted-at-
> When Lars Schmitz at the University of California, Davis, studied 77
> bird 
> species, he found he could predict the foraging lifestyle of any
> species 
> simply by measuring the bones that their eyes are set in. 

While I'd be cautious projecting modern avian morphometric trends back as far 
as Archaeopteryx, 
nocturnal early avians certainly makes a lot of sense. It's thought that modern 
bats might have 
become nocturnal in order to avoid direct competition with birds, and early 
avians would have had 
to compete with far more accomplished pterosaurian fliers. That assumes that 
pterosaurs were 
mostly diurnal creatures though.

Also, at a time when bus-sized predators roamed about, I suspect that anything 
the size of a 
chicken would have taken great comfort in the cover of darkness (be it early 
avian, non-avian 
theropod, or mammal for that matter).


Dann Pigdon
GIS Specialist                         Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj