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The chatter in the recent “11th Specimen of Archaeopteryx” discussions
concerning capabilities and traits (or lack thereof) for climbing (NOT
“perching”) in theropods/basal birds reminded me that there is still
an 800-lb gorilla in the room wearing a pink t-shirt that is one size
too small with "Catch-22" scrawled across it in Air Force Blue...
There’s an obvious question that still hasn't received good,
convincing, direct answers...
Were theropods/basal birds up in the trees BEFORE they possessed the
MODERN traits we currently use to define a bird as being arboreal?
If the answer is yes; what were those traits that allowed them to
climb into the trees?
If the answer is no; WHY did selection favor characteristics for an
arboreal lifestyle when theropods/basal birds were cursorial?
Whales, before getting wet, didn't just decide to lose their hind
limbs, sprout flukes, and head for the sea, right?
PS: Bit of trivia for you literary types/WWII buffs... Anyone catch
the reason for the "Air Force Blue" reference? ;-)