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



Hi Mr. Paul,

The new paper on Xiaotingia places scansoriopterygids as the most basal 
avialans, and Xu has opined that Epidexipteryx was flightless, raising the 
possibility (though by no means requiring) that the last common ancestor of 
Archaeopteryx and crown group birds was flightless.

That doesn't fit your theory, correct?



On Jul 28, 2011, at 10:05 AM, <GSP1954@aol.com> <GSP1954@aol.com> wrote:

> 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>

Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
jaseb@amnh.org
(212) 496 3544