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Re: Science feather strength debate
the Nudds and Dyke's feather paper is not alone in inferring
extremely poor flight abilities for _Archaeopteryx_ and
_Confuciusornis_. There is the work by Senter on scapular
orientation, which showed that neither bird was capable of a complete
Baffling though it is, they were both apparently unable to lift their
arms above shoulder level. That kinda sucks.
Then there's the matter of the keel - absurdly small in
_Confuciusornis_, non-existent in _Archaeopteryx_.
Bats have no keel at all...
That said, the keel of extant birds does not immediately ossify. It
stays cartilaginous and unfossilizable for quite some time.