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RE: Microraptor preyed on birds (official paper in PNAS)






> Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 23:58:54 +0100
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Microraptor preyed on birds (official paper in PNAS)

> > Admittedly, in terms of scansorial/arboreal adaptations, the pedal
> > modifications are hardly compelling. The quantitative and
> > qualitative analyses of Dececchi and Larsson (2011) explicitly
> > rejected arboreality in _Microraptor_ (and archaeopterygids too).
> > This study focused on the lack of branch-grasping adaptations and
> > limited limb joint mobility in _Microraptor_, which makes it
> > extremely unlikely that this theropod could move about within the
> > tree-crown, or descend tree trunks. However, the sort of
> > trunk-scaling envisioned by O'Connor &c (Fig. 3) does not entail
> > branch-grasping.
> 
> I'll have to try to find out if the hindlimbs are much too long for 
> trunk-climbing. The lower legs in particular are unusually _long_, not 
> short as expected in an animal that has parasagittal legs and needs to 
> hold its center of gravity as close to the tree trunk as possible.
 
If the argument(s) for _Microraptor_ not being tree-dwelling is its lack of 
foot- and hand-adaptations...then aren't long legs exactly what we should/would 
*expect* to see?
 
As others have said, _Microraptor_ isn't a mammal, so aren't longer hind limbs 
than forelimbs exactly what we would expect to see?