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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy" + new Colugo gliding paper
evelyn sobielski <email@example.com> wrote:
> Not in life at least ;-) In decomposing carcasses of Archie, the hallux had a
> tendency to flip into reversed position after its attachment to the
> metatarsal loosened.
Yes, that's how the problem started: the reversed position of
_Archaeopteryx_'s hallux in death was interpreted as representing the
position of the hallux in life. Ironically, Ostrom interpreted the
position of the hallux of the Solnhofen _Compsognathus_ as a
preservational artifact - that the hallux was reversed in life, but
had been twisted into a non-reversed position after death.
In fact, all theropods were once thought to have a reversed hallux. A
'rough' area on the posterior surface of metatarsal II was incorrectly
interpreted as the attachment site for metatarsal I, rather than being
a muscle scar.
> Obliquely related: "Gliding saves time but not energy in Malayan colugos"
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/tcob-cgt072111.php (summary)
> http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2690.abstract (abstract)
Although the aerial adaptations are extremely dissimilar, a
_Microraptor_ weighed about the same as a colugo (~ 1kg).