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Re: Microraptor -- "Biplane" or Not?



 Rescued from truncation:

 Has any consensus been reached on how Microraptor deployed its hind
 wings= ? I know that it's=20 pretty much been established that the
 hind limbs were held beneath the body= during flight=2C but =20 has
 agreement been reached on whether the wing was held vertically or
 horiz= ontally? I'm working on=20 some drawings for a teacher friend
 of mine to show in class.
 =20
 Thanks=2C
 Scott Selberg

I don't think there's consensus on how far, if at all, *M.* was able to spread its legs.

It's possible that the legs were more or less tucked in in flight, like in a flying short-legged bird, with the foot feathers pointing sideways and (both feet together) forming a short extra wing (which was, of course, not flapped), sort of like the extra wing between the wheels of some double- and triple-deckers. The feathers on the rest of the legs would have had to point backwards.

There doesn't seem to be a way to find out which way the feathers on the feet pointed, let alone if they were mobile. The fossils are all squished flat, and things like tendons aren't preserved.