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Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx

On Mon, 24 Oct 2011, Habib, Michael wrote:

Tim's point regarding birds nesting in abrasive plants is well taken, as is Don's comments on Cycads etc. However, I still find myself asking the question: is there any reason we keep trying to put Archaeopteryx (and close relatives) into elevated positions to begin with? Don already pointed out that, at best, we simply cannot exclude some arboreal roosting, etc for Archaeopteryx. We have no evidence that Archie was absolutely confined to terrestrial life, but we have nothing to suggest it was arboreal in any meaningful way, either. As a result, I find myself a bit mystified by the continued attempts at building scenarios in which Archaeopteryx spent time climbing about. Yes, perhaps it did. But one can imagine that many maniraptorans could get into trees, given the right tree. Deinonychus could probably get into a tree, but I'm not sure the possibility merits much discussion. It's a level of behavioral specificity we cannot determine in fossil animals, as best I can tell.

Makes me think of a road runner...