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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"



Aw shucks. Tweren't nothing figuring it out. Why, I recall how back in the 
early eighties in Bakker's apartment looking over my brand new cast of the 
Eichstatt Archaeopteryx I was startled, amazed and quite delighted to realize 
that the 2nd toe was hyperextandable, adding to the evidence that the 
urvogel is a basal deinonychosaur (which I first proposed in that 1984 paper 
pdf 
on at www.gspauldino.com for the record). What really clued me in to the 
phylogenetic reality was a year or two earlier in 81 when I examined the 
original specimen in the Eichstatt castle as the Luftwaffe F-104s (Kelly 
Johnson's 
razor blade winged excuse for a jet fighter but the did look cool) 
thundered overhead on low level runs - ah, the good old Cold War days. It was 
plain 
as day under the scope that the palate lacked any avian characters being 
similar to those of other avetheopod dinosaurs. And I placed Anchiornis with 
Archaeopteryx rather than troodonts in the field guide last year when it was 
still considered a troodont. 

Let us not forget that in 2005 in that other Science journal Mayr, Pohl and 
Peters also found Archy to be basal to deinonychosaurs. It is interesting 
that all the Late Jurassic winged dinosaurs are long tailed archaeopterygids. 
This suggests that dinoavian flight was just getting started at that time 
rather than much earlier. And no abbreviated tails until the Cretaceous 
unless new LJ fossils show otherwise. 

It may well be that actual avian origins are more omnivorous/herbivorous 
than traditionally thought -- I suggested in the Field Guide that 
oviraptosaurs are secondarily flightless descendents of saperornids, although 
that 
requires considerable pelvic reversals. Of course flight may have evolved, 
deevolved and reevolved all over the place in those dinobirds, may not be 
feasible 
to ever really sort it out with the limited fossil information. 

GSPaul</HTML>