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Re: Confuciusornis feather length and flight mode

--- Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org> schrieb am Di, 22.3.2011:

> Von: Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org>
> Betreff: Re: Confuciusornis feather length and flight mode
> An: bh480@scn.org
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Datum: Dienstag, 22. März, 2011 01:59 Uhr
> Well, I'll be the first to say it.
> This paper does not seem to have
> incorporated the data from Zheng et al. that Nudds et al.
> acknowledged in
> their response last year (Science, Vol 33), page 320-d, 15
> October 2010.
> DOI: 10.1126/science.1193474). At that time Nudds et al.
> wrote that some
> specimens (or possibly a distinct, volant, species) of
> Confuciusornis may
> have been capable of flapping flight.
> Though the primary feather length of Confuciusornithids is
> shown in this
> new paper to group with volant ornithurines, the authors
> disregard the
> possibility of flapping flight again. This conclusion seems
> to be based on
> the conclusions of their earlier paper (and several other
> papers).

No, it's ultimately based on Senters analysis of dorsoventral humerus mobility 
http://app.pan.pl/archive/published/app51/app51-305.pdf which has, IIRC, not 
been refuted yet. Not that it has been reviewed except by Kurochkin (from a 
BANDit standpoint).

As regards methodology, I'd believe the 
length-of-primary-to-secondary-rectrices-ratio might be more informative. 

But Varricchio seems to have shown that wing morphology may even be assessed 
(at least in some cases) from elbow joint morphology alone: 
 (he did a cladistic analysis which resulted in a phylogeny that was clearly 
dominated by homoplasy, finding his fragmentary taxon to "clade" with the 
heavy-bodied round-winged taxa mentioned in the abstract - the "some 
columbiforms" refers more precisely to _Goura_ as opposed to _Columba_).