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Re: Fwd: Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx

On 10/23/2011 5:59 PM, David Marjanovic wrote:
Clearly intended for the list -- and look, forwarding generates a
presentable header:


-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Betreff: Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx
Datum: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 11:52:15 -0500
Von: Clair Ossian <clastic@verizon.net>
An: <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>

Hmmm...I suggest you try to sit in or build a nest in a cycad.

Never been a nester -- I have worked on and in Sago Palms as a 100 kg adult, though.

Also cabbage palm, and several others -- these may not be technically cycads, but the principle is the same, in functional terms. Never noticed any unusual bleeding...

I grow a number of species and have seen and handled many other species.
Cycads commonly have inflexible fronds and leaflets that are generally
sharp, jagged, and very easily inflict bloody wounds on mammals (me) when
the plants are handled.

I have been savagely ripped up on a number of occasions when moving or
repotting one :)

I suspect that cycads did not make favored nest sites.

Interesting idea -- a plant clade so fearsome that no vertebrates will inhabit it.

I would argue they would make nice safe places to spend the night for a creature of Arch. size, for just the reasons you mention -- I don't remember mentioning nesting. Ground-foraging tree-roosters don't necessarily nest in trees, anyway -- American Wild Turkeys certainly do not, and bears regularly sleep in trees, as example :D...

I am not claiming that Arch. was a ground-forager that slept in trees, ordinary or otherwise -- it is just that 1) the lack of perching pes does not exclude them from that lifestyle, and 2) their bodies as seen in the record would be suitable for it, given the right vegetative forms.

Both points always seem to get lost in these discussions.