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Re: Perching, climbing, roosting was Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx

Am 12.11.2011 06:04, schrieb Anthony Docimo:

> It's not "adapted for gripping branches". It's adapted for
> climbing challenging substrates, specifically rocks and narrow
> ledges. There's a reason why we say "as nimble as a goat".

 I've seen some pretty...*...ninja images of the non-avian raptors.
 Some of those images were by our own Greg Paul.

 * = looking for a word..."acrobatic"? "yoga-ish"?...

Comparing apples & oranges.

>>> Mammals aren't reptiles. Never have been.
>> as long as the word exists, people will use it. best you get used
>> to it. (and I know you know what I meant by "reptiles" in the
>> first place)

> Nup, I'm not getting used to it. I've nothing against the word
> "reptile" - turtles, lizards, snakes, tuataras and crocodiles are
> all reptiles.

 I forget which publication or book I read it in, but I recall reading
 that the Tuataras are as closely related to snakes+lizards (and-or)
 to turtles (and-or) to crocodiles+birds...as they are to mammals.

Tuataras and squamates ( = lizards incl. snakes) are sister-groups, forming Lepidosauria. The question is where the turtles lie, not where the tuataras lie.

> But the amniote line that lead to mammals split off from the line
> that led to reptiles, and the mammal ancestor was never a reptile
> itself. The ancestors of mammals never had scaly skin - they had
> glandular skin, like us humans. I'm not being pedantic here

 Glad to hear it...so could you tell me which publication has the
 write-up of the discovered skin of those mammal ancestors? I'd like
 to read it.

Don't know the citation, but try to find out about *Estemmenosuchus*.

Scales are probably a sauropsid autapomorphy. Sauropsida is what Tim Williams appears to mean when he says "reptiles".

> in the cause of "phylogenetic correctness". But the claim that
> mammals evolved from reptiles is incorrect, and needs to be
> jettisoned - along with the term "mammal-like reptile".

 Good luck with that. seriously.

Should be fairly easy. Few non-specialists have any clear idea on what "reptile" might mean. Exhibit A: http://www.livescience.com/animals/080103-new-salamanders.html "Salamanders are amphibians, not lizards".

>> heck, I'm sure the mammals (Mammalia) have overcome constraints
>> of their own - constraints that surely separate them from their
>> ancestral clades.
> Mammals overcame these constraints by evolving new adaptations.
> These adaptations are usually clearly evident in their skeletons.

 After the fact, yes. In the descendant clades, yes.

 But in the radiations which include the ancestral line working to
 overcome the limitation? That seems to be what we have with the

Well, no. Such adaptations cannot delay their appearance by 40 million years; and without them, most of the transition isn't possible.

And "working" is a very bad metaphor. Mutations happen, and organisms manage to make use of them or not.