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RE: to flight or not to flight (was: Island-dwelling dinosaurs)
> > To be fair, it's easier to say "secondarily flightless" than "secondarily
> > rudimentarily". > It may be easier to say, but it may not be accurate.
> > Then what term would be accurate?
If there is no other term, then linguistics tells us* that one of two things
- a new term is coined.
- a less-than-accurate term is expanded.
* = back to that other thread! ;)
> Throughout the non-ornithothoracean Paraves, there seems to have been
> a great deal of experimentation in aerial locomotion going on. Lots
> of little theropods with big wings, but not much of a flight apparatus
> to speak of. The distinction between "flighted" and "flightless" was
> blurred, so the term "secondarily flightless" is meaningless, and
> potentially misleading.
Then why does anyone use it? (i'll hazard a guess that its in part so
non-experts can follow along the news and discoveries about dinosaurs) > If
velociraptorines evolved from ancestors that had some aerial
> capabilities (which seems likely), then this does not necessarily make
> taxa such as _Velociraptor_ secondarily flightless.
Okay, I understand that. It's the terminology (or lack thereof) which I
Then what would _Velociraptor_ be, then? "Secondarily arborealless"?
One of those brings to mind sauropods.