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RE: Tinamous: living dinosaurs

If the behavior were unknown in large flighted or small flighted birds, but 
unknonw in small flightless maniraptorans but present in large flightless 
maniraptorans (both excluding modern birds) then it is more parsimonious to 
argue that the condition of using the wings to shelter young or brooding their 
eggs is only useful in large-bodied, flightless maniraptorans (including birds) 
and may thus not be heritable given the large number of intermediates the 
condition would have to be prevalent in but not found. That flight is lost 
independantly among paleognaths, from which point size increases, should be 
useful to assess the viability of arguing whether wing-nesting/brooding is 
independent of phylogeny.


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 12:40:13 -0400
> From: jaseb@amnh.org
> To: ron.orenstein@rogers.com
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Tinamous: living dinosaurs
> Yes, of course, we might well expect a radiation of diverse brooding 
> strategies among Dinosauria, as so many millions of years went by and so many 
> specialized lineages diverged.
> There may even be a sample bias, also, for those taxa that nested on the 
> ground on floodplains. I w=myself wouldn't be at all surprised if we find one 
> day an alvarezsaur female seated atop one or two very large eggs, for example.
> But, nonetheless, we have several samples of non - avian maniraptoran nests 
> and they are consistent in the features of large numbers of eggs in the 
> clutches and males brooding them alone.
> Also, I'm not clear from your e-mail if you are suggesting that Tinamous 
> evolved paternal - only brooding independently of ratites (since tinamous are 
> not large and flightless)?
> Let me put it this way: if you HAD to reconstruct the brooding of a non - 
> avian maniraptoran now, wouldn't it be safest to go with the paternal - only 
> brooding model? Anything else would be pure speculation.
> In other words, isn't it most parsimonious to assume that the brooding 
> strategy held in common by Troodon, oviraptorids, (possibly Gobipteryx), 
> tinamous and ratites is a synapomorphy, rather than a strategy that was 
> independently converged upon four times? It certainly could have been 
> independently derived, but that just requires more assumptions and thus is 
> less parsimonious.
> Cheers
> -Jason
> On Jun 24, 2011, at 11:35 AM, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
> > I would be very nervous about doing this. We have no idea if paternal care 
> > is a
> > basal character or simply a common feature (symplesiomorph?) of ratites.
> > Ratites are still neornithine birds, and there is a lot of intervening 
> > evolution
> > between them and maniraptorians. I would be reluctant to assume that any
> > behavioural characteristic of ratites not associated with large size or
> > flightlessness is any more likely to be a basal feature than the behavioural
> > characteristics of any other ground-living bird (such as a lyrebird, for
> > example!).
> >
> > Ronald Orenstein
> > 1825 Shady Creek Court
> > Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2
> > Canada
> > ronorenstein.blogspot.com
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----
> > From: Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org>
> > To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> > Sent: Fri, June 24, 2011 10:17:27 AM
> > Subject: Tinamous: living dinosaurs
> >
> > I put up a new blog post about Tinamous, and how they are underexploited
> > as models for extrapolations about the biology of extinct maniraptorans.
> > Since their egg brooding behavior is comparable to Troodon and
> > oviraptorids, can we infer that the behavior between the father and the
> > chicks was the same also?
> >
> > http://web.me.com/jasonbrougham/Site/Blog/Entries/2011/6/18_Tinamous__Living_dinosaurs.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Jason Brougham
> > Senior Principal Preparator
> > Department of Exhibition
> > American Museum of Natural History
> > 81st Street at Central Park West
> > 212 496 3544
> > jaseb@amnh.org
> Jason Brougham
> Senior Principal Preparator
> American Museum of Natural History
> jaseb@amnh.org
> (212) 496 3544