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RE: Microraptor ate birds



> Since that makes my poster not-the-worst, I'll have to say 'awesome'.
>
> But seriously, I'd hardly say it was the worst. It's definitely
> intriguing, and IF microraptor et al were arboreal, it is what we'd
> expect. Clearly not a definitive test, but really good work on Xing
> (and O'Connor and the rest of course)'s part IDing the gut content's
> habitat.
> I mean, this is /behaviour/ damnit, always great when any of that can
> be elucidated, even if it doesn't have 100% support.

Well, of the dinosaur abstracts at least.  Not that it isn't a decent 
hypothesis, it's just that the evidence presented can't support it.  Arboreal 
animals generally spend too much time on or near the ground to make a sample 
size of one as gut contents matter.

> But would that portion make you inclined to dismiss the arboreal capabilities 
> of cats or their passerine prey?

It says nothing at all about the arboreal capabilities of cats or they prey 
that a portion of cat hunts involve them and prey which are both on the ground.

> then what could? [support arboreality in Microraptor]

Gut content-wise, maybe a gut full of epiphytes.  You'd need something that 
doesn't usually get on or close to the ground when alive, and hopefully a 
sample size of >1.  With a large enough sample size, if Microraptor had more 
arboreal mammals than terrestrial mammals as gut contents, adjusting for how 
common each mammal was in general, then that could suggest arboreality.  
Although even then, maybe the arboreal species was slower, stupider, less 
camoflaged, etc..

Mickey Mortimer