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Re: Fwd: Senter 2006, Confuciusornis, and humeral mobility

On Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM, evelyn sobielski <koreke77@yahoo.de> wrote:

> I would very much like it if someone reanalyzes hindlimb mobility (if it has 
> not been done).
> Possibly the infamous "squirrel pose" has more merit than nowadays assumed.

No, it doesn't.

> So, as regards fundamental flight capability, confuciusornithids were 
> entirely unlike
> Apodidae.

Phew, I'm glad you finally recognized this.

> But the similarities in wing shape are striking, and we know that in modern 
> birds
> this wing shape corresponds to high-speed high-g flight powered mainly by 
> gravity
> and conservation of momentum, with wingbeats more for acceleration rather
> than gaining altitude.

I thing this is a good place to bring in the recent study of
_Confuciusornis_ primary feather length.  For me, the 'take-home'
message of this study was that the length of the primary feathers
canNOT be used as a metric for the flight behaviors in basal birds,
because the osteological contribution to the flight apparatus was
sufficiently different to that of modern birds.  Therefore, the
primary feather lengths of neornithean taxa serve as poor analogs for
the flight capabilities of basal birds - such as confuciusornithids.