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RE: Microraptor ate birds



  My reasons are twofold:

  A poster's information is more in-depth than a typical abstract, in that it 
contains additional text, discussion, and images, than a typical abstract does. 
This is why I called it an "extended abstract," because it acts like a 
mini-paper.

  However, the second issue is more bothersome, which is that this information 
is available only to the individuals who viewed the poster at the time it was 
up on the boards at the Paris in Las Vegas. Poster presentations, like talks, 
differ from the published information because they include materials that are 
explicitly barred from dissemination. Most large groups of presenters will have 
prepared press-packets of this information, which can be discussed (just as 
Denver noted Brian Switek's report from SVP), but the bulk of the data is 
essentially anecdotal. It is what you saw, were told, or heard, not what has 
been published. The "data" is not published, even if some of it is in a 
press-release, and as such it is not useful academically. 

  I cannot debate the philosophical merits of taxonomic lumping or the quality 
of which sections of bones are better for histological sectioning with a piece 
of paper, and it is no good having a conclusion without the data to back it up.

Cheers,

  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)
  http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)


----------------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 13:19:43 -0500
> From: schenck.rob@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Microraptor ate birds
>
> Hardly seems unreasonable to discuss a poster presentation from a
> meeting. If there's more to be released in the future, that's all well
> and good.
>
> On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 11:45 AM, Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >   You know what I find funny? We're having a debate about a conclusion 
> > released on the basis of a news report from an "extended abstract" 
> > presented as a poster at SVP _last week_. We're not discussing a paper, 
> > with a series of conclusions drawn from applied analyses with oodles and 
> > oodles of tabulated data from which to pour over. No. We're doing this 
> > based on a news report and somehow making claims that the evidence is not 
> > suitable for the conclusion.  If you want the data, "wait for the paper."
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> >  Jaime A. Headden
> >  The Bite Stuff (site v2)
> >  http://qilong.wordpress.com/
> >
> > "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
> >
> >
> > "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
> > different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
> > has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
> > his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
> > Backs)
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------
> >> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 16:40:20 +0000
> >> From: df9465@yahoo.co.uk
> >> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> >> Subject: Re: Microraptor ate birds
> >>
> >> _______________________________
> >>
> >> > From: Robert Schenck <schenck.rob@gmail.com>
> >> >>>It's definitely intriguing, and IF microraptor et al were arboreal, it 
> >> >>>is what we'd
> >> >>> expect.
> >> >>The hypothesis is not well-thought out, and not based on any modern 
> >> >>comparisons (hence, I predict it will be published in Nature, or ProcB).
> >> >Should we really expect there to be good comparisons though? I'll
> >> agree that the lack of modern analogs isn't meaningless, but how much
> >> weight should we give it?
> >>
> >> I don't think it would be beyond reason to do a little survey of extant 
> >> predators that eat "arboreal" birds, and see just how regularly said birds 
> >> are caught in trees as opposed to on the ground. This wasn't done, merely 
> >> an assumption was made (not the least, the assumption of arboreality on 
> >> the prey's behalf). I understand this is a poster, not a peer-reviewed 
> >> paper; these sorts of conclusions shouldn't make it into print without a 
> >> proper assessment of the data, but frequently we see misinformation making 
> >> it through. The original Microraptor gui description had a reconstruction 
> >> of a splayed-limb glider -at odds with known anatomy of dinosaurs; indeed 
> >> the upright unsplaying hindlimb is one of THE dinosaurian features 
> >> emphasized in the most basic undergraduate classes on dinosaurs; I can;t 
> >> understand how this was missed by both researchers and reviewers alike. 
> >> This poster is further illustrative of the glider-first argument being 
> >> based on poor reasoning,
> >> purely hypothetical models, and weak knowledge of anatomy and ecology, 
> >> that somehow gets into big journals.
> >>
> >> >Anyway I'll agree that the positive evidence for arboreality in
> >> Mesozoic dinosaurs doesn't seem to be out there, but if they were
> >> arboreal predators, then, yes, preying on other arboreal species could
> >> make sense.
> >>
> >>
> >> Make sense? part of this thread suggested trees were some sort of refugium 
> >> from predation, now apparently the opposite makes sense. This is where 
> >> surveying the extant ecological literature makes more sense.
> >>
> >>
> >> >> It's not behaviour: it's diet. For all we know, the Microraptor might 
> >> >> have found a dead bird on the ground.
> >> >Absolutely, could've come from the ground. It's still behaviour of
> >> course, my point is that its something other than osteology, which is
> >> allways nice.
> >>
> >>
> >> Yes, it's paleobiological data. Evidence of some trophic interaction. This 
> >> part is very interesting. I like the point made by someone else that it is 
> >> little different from finding fish remains in confusciusiornithids: does 
> >> this mean they were waterbirds that always eat fish? what is the 
> >> variability in diet of carnivorous birds anyway? Do they eat the same food 
> >> all the time, caught the same way, or a variety of different prey types, 
> >> caught different ways and places? what is the difference between catching 
> >> prey and killing prey? Does the bald eagle only eat fish? What does a 
> >> cosmopolitan diet mean? None of this is addressed; just leaping to 
> >> conclusions about arboreality without trying to test a hypothesis, or even 
> >> survey possible corroborating data.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>  ----------------------------------
> >> Denver Fowler
> >> df9465@yahoo.co.uk
> >> http://www.denverfowler.com
> >> -----------------------------------
> >>
> >
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Robert J. Schenck
> Kingsborough Community College
> Physical Sciences Department
> S332 ph# 718-368-5792
> Follow Me on Twitter: @Schenck
> KCC Class Schedule on Google Calendar: http://tinyurl.com/mqwlcy