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Climbing Archaeopteryx in Berlin

From: Ben Creisler

This posting is a follow-up to the earlier one about the new exhibit in
Berlin commemorating the discovery of Archaeopteryx. This stuff is in
German but you can use online translation tools to get the gist of the
written content. The video interviews aren't captioned and will be
trickier, unfortunately...

The slides at the following link show skeletal reconstructions of
Archaeopteryx in the Berlin exhibit as a climber with its hind limbs
splayed out (and apparently disarticulated in a some cases). You need Adobe
Flashplayer to see the full set of 3 images.


The page also has a link on top right to a video about the origin of flight
with interviews with Gerald Mayr.



This story also has a link to an interview from 2009 with Josef Reichholf.
He discusses his idea that, in addition to providing warmth and flight
surfaces, one major (and in his theory, original) purpose of feathers is to
serve as a way to dispose of metabolic wasteproducts such as amino acids
with nitrogen and sulfur compounds. As he points out, birds regularly moult
their feathers and their excrement does not stink. 

He published a paper on this theory in 1996:

J. H. Reichholf (1996) Die Feder, die Mauser und der Ursprung der Vögel
[Feathers, moulting, and the origin of birds]. Archaeopteryx 14 (1996), S.
27 -- 38.

and it was discussed on the DML back in 2001:

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