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Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx‏

From: Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com>

> This is not entirely consistent with arboreality, although that is possible, 
> because climbing birds do not use just one ungual for climbing...

Yes, I agree.. oh hang on (!):

>..., they use all forward-projecting unguals,

Do they? Which climbing birds? What do climbing bird feet look like? Are they 
different from perching bird feet? do you have a citation that explains this? 
(hint, you are wrong).

> In birds, while the unguals are graded largest to smallest moving from toe 
> two through toe four, then toe one,

Are they? which birds? do you have a citation that shows this? (hint, you are 

>the unguals even in raptorial birds are relatively similar in size 

Are they? which raptors? do you have a citation which shows this? (hint: you 
are wrong)

>(cassowaries are freaks with straight pdII-3u's, ignore them)

Correct. The only thing you got right so far.

>; in dromaeosaurids, the pdII-3u is often twice the length of any other 
>ungual, a suspiciously bizarre distinction that enforces a functional 
>difference, especially in the strong curvature relative to the other unguals. 
>And recall, despite the huge!
pdII-3u, the other pedal unguals are _terrestrially_ adapted, even in 
*Archaeopteryx lithographica*. Moreover, it is questionable how one arrives at 
a conclusion that the highly recurved, huge forward ungual is indicative of 
"perching" or arboreality to begin with, merely that climbing is _not_ excluded.

Paper is nearly here (hopefully b4 xmas). That should give you the time to go 
back and read some papers on claw morphology. You need to.


PS. I wrote Fowler et al. 2009. It has lots of claw data in it. Your email 

Denver Fowler