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Re: FYI -- Microraptor gui, Burnham and Alexander, PNAS...

Excellent point regarding the myology - articulation fidelity is often analyzed without incorporating constraints of muscular anatomy, including moment arm changes that may preclude the proposed motion. And, as I suggested in my earlier post, I see no reason at all to make the poor thing sprawl to begin with.


--Mike H.

Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
(443) 280-0181

On Jan 26, 2010, at 2:58 PM, David Marjanovic wrote:


Twelfth post and beyond, required reading for any one going to
comment on the "impossible" leg-sprawling flight posture of the
_Microraptor_ model.

That's a case of "wait for the paper that won't even be begun anytime soon".

Importantly, however, those posts explicitly don't argue for the 180°-sprawled pose that Burnham et al. wanted to squeeze *M.* into. I was there at their talk at the SVP meeting of 2008, and they had a reconstruction where the femoral head pointed not into the acetabulum but ventrally (vertically downwards), and the trochanteric crest touched the ilium, leaving _no_ space for the very muscles that would have pulled the legs up into this pose! That was cringeworthy.