[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage

Sorry, I must speak to that. I was careful to avoid perching, in the sense of 
toes closing around a branch, or an opposable hallux.

They are depicted ON branches.

From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] on behalf of Ben Creisler 
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 1:28 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: RE: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage

From:  Ben Creisler

The long metatarsal feathers on Microraptor are clearly asymmetrical
and so must have had an aerodynamic function with no analog in modern
birds. The alula functions to prevent stalls in landing when the wings
in modern birds are at a high angle of attack. Microraptor likely
glided and landed differently from any modern birds as suggested by
studies and illustrations. If it often landed belly-forward on
vertical tree-trunks more like a flying squirrel as the artwork
suggests rather than belly-downward on branches or the ground as
modern birds do, an alula may not have worked. Clearly a better
understanding of the function of the metatarsal feathers is needed.

The artwork also shows Microraptors perched on branches. I'm wondering
if a Microraptor could actually land on a branch like a modern bird.