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Re: Science feather strength debate
For smaller deinonychosaurs (including microraptorines) and basal
birds, the lack of prehensile ability in the manus implied by the
long stiff fingers is weird... because other features (broad wings;
phalangeal proportions; longer and more distal hallux) suggest that
these critters were at least partly arboreal.
The wings of *Microraptor* are remarkably narrow, much more so than
Archie's. Probably the foot feathers took over some of that function,
though. *Confuciusornis*, however, has long, narrow wings and no foot
feathers. The phalangeal proportions of both (and Archie) indicate that
these animals weren't cursorial, but hardly scansorial either; Archie
and *C.* are right at the boundary between terrestrial and scansorial
birds, *M.* is not above it either.
The scansoriopterygids look scansorial or arboreal.