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Re: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx
Yeah, some members of the Kagu population could possibly have glided, perhaps
back when the New Caledonian forest composition was less disturbed, still had
big araucarians forming a canopy, and the understory was more open. They could
also have glided in certain topographies - meaning hillier areas - and Dr.
Letocart may simply have never observed it. I don't know how we quantitatively
distinguish which of two anecdotal reports is best proven, but I'd love to see
some experimental data.
But the crucial point here is that the Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) is capable of
weak powered flight without much climb in altitude. Thus they retain more of
the capabilities of flighted birds than the literature suggests.
I'm now looking at some of WK Parker's notes on the anatomy and the sternum is
not so small as I wrote earlier. The keel is low but present, and the sternum
looks to be about equal in length to the femur in one figure. We could compare
these sekeletal proportions to the proportional line between flighted and
flightless rails that Livezey discovered. WK Parker notes that the pectoralis
muscle in the Kagu is "very strong" and comparable to that in the (flighted)
Limpkin (A. giganteus) but narrower.
On Oct 25, 2011, at 5:45 PM, <GSP1954@aol.com> wrote:
> In a message dated 10/25/11 4:38:27 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> << Well it just goes to show you can't always trust the literature. >>
> It's possible that different populations do different things. Maybe some
> kagu do glide. Or maybe not.
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
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