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RE: Flight capablities of Archie & Confucius? Not so good...
David Marjanovic wrote:
<Didn't they publish the same thing (for Archie only, of course) in Nature in
1994? Somehow, nobody seems to have noticed it back then.>
Enough to notice it, pass it over, and go one with their tact? An interesting
example, perhaps, of using "poor flying ability" as meaning "can fly, but not
as good as wrens." There's a level of relativity here that hasn't been
measured, and as long as the performance output of one is simply less than the
other, one can still hypothesize that the "poor" ability can enable the
behavior one has espoused already. Despite this, Paul's _Dinosaurs of the Air_
doesn't even cite Nudds and Dyke (1994).
One thing that can be said of the paper is that it does better to supplement
the analysis with further data, so now they can both be cited and used to argue
further for lack of powered flying capability, if even passive flying
capability (i.e., "powered" gliding). One thing that cannot be said of it is
that it won't tell paleoartists to NOT draw Archie as a fully powered flier
(much less *Confuciusornis*. It is too sexy of an idea to give up. They have
wings, therefore they must have flown; bird have wings, and birds can fly; not
only do wings = flight, and birds = wings, but wings = flight just like birds.
Nudds, R. L. & Dyke, G. J. 1994. Flight capabilities of *Archaeoptery*.
Nudds, R. L. & Dyke, G. J. 2010. Narrow primary feather rachises in
*Confuciusornis* and *Archaeopteryx* suggest poor flight ability. _Science_
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
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his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 11:54:44 +0200
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: Flight capablities of Archie & Confucius? Not so good...
>> Nudds, R.L. & G.J. Dyke. 2010. Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in
>> Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability. Science
>> 328:887-889. [DOI: 10.1126/science.1188895]
>>> Alternatively, if they were only gliders, then the flapping wing
>>> stroke must have appeared after the divergence of Confuciusornis,
>>> likely within the enantiornithine or ornithurine radiations.
> *Confuciusornis* as a glider is sort of imaginable. There were plenty of
> trees in that habitat, *C.* had nicely grasping hands and medially
> directed first toes, and it had long, narrow wings, so maybe it really
> did climb trees and glide down.
> Archie? Apparently no trees higher than 3 m, unspectacular hands for a
> theropod, elevated first toes directed forward, and a gap between the
> rather rounded wing and the body.
> BTW, does the limited shoulder mobility make WAIR impossible?
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