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Re: Planet Dinosaur Ep 2



Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:


> But wouldn't it be more parsimonious to infer it having long feathers
> given the condition in bracketing avialians and microraptorines?
> Or is there some short-forelimb feathered related paravian? (before,
> defining of which lenghts we are referring to with long or short would
> be good).



Yeah, good question.  _Epidexipteryx_ apparently lacked long forelimb
feathers (or remiges of any kind), despite being firmly nested in the
Paraves.  Xu et al. (2011 - the _Xiaotingia_ paper) actually put
_Epidexipteryx_ on the line leading to modern birds, closer than
_Archaeopteryx_.



If the Paraves was primitively scansorial (as inferred for small
paravians such as _Microraptor_ and _Epidendrosaurus_), and the large
size and fully terrestrial habits of eudromaeosaurs were therefore
secondary, then _Velociraptor_ and friends might have lost the large
remiges along the forelimb. If (as seems likely) the forelimbs were
used to grasp large prey, they'd be no reason to keep them.  The
presence or absence of remiges might have been quite a labile feature
in early paravian evolution.  The same may be true for basal
oviraptorosaurs - present in _Caudipteryx_, but absent in
_Protachaeopteryx_?






Cheers

Tim