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Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx



>> are you saying that the foot of A. lithographica would have been
>> unable to grasp your wrist?
>
> Yes.

 What evidence is there for that?

 In the image it looks like a long toe pointing to the rear and 3?
 toes pointing forward. It looks in fact, very much like the foot of
 an American Wild Turkey, in a functional sense..

Again, the image is wrong -- the fossil does not correctly reflect the shape of the living animal. In life, and in the 10th and 11th specimens even in death, the 1st toe pointed forward just like the others. The 1st toe also looks longer than it was, because it's been squished away from the rest of the foot (except the 1st metatarsal).

Most fossils are squished flat. Steamrollered. Roadkilled. Often, though not in the plated limestones of Bavaria, this goes so far as to distorting bones without even breaking them. It must be taken into account when reconstructing the living animals.

I forgot if Kevin Middleton's thesis has been published. It shows that the orientation of the 1st toe depends on whether the 1st metatarsal is twisted, and shows that it's not twisted in *Archaeopteryx*.