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Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

> Though as the hangingi paper (who wants to bet it's just another M. 
> zhaoianus?) is authored by BANDits and ABSRDists, we really shouldn't
> expect them to read counterarguments to their positions anyway.

ABSRD ("Anything But a Small Running Dinosaur") is an acronym I coined
several years ago for the idea that the BANDits will go to any lengths
to "prove" that the progenitors of birds (and their closest relatives)
were neither cursorial or dinosaurian.  This new paper on _Microraptor
hanqingi_ is true to form, on both scores.

Neither "theropod" or "dinosaur" are mentioned in the entire text of
the _M. hanqingi_ paper (although both words appear in the References
often enough!).  The only taxonomy given is Dromaeosauridae and
Microraptorinae, with the rider that "it has been suggested that the
Maniraptora nested within Aves".  So this paper would appear to belong
to the view that maniraptorans (including dromaeosaurs) are birds, and
birds are not theropod dinosaurs.  This is both absurd and ABSRD.

On the locomotor adaptations of _M. hanqingi_, it's my reading of the
text that Gong et al. are arguing that _Microraptor_ had an *obligate*
sprawling posture.  Gong et al. claim that the morphologies of the
ilium (especially the acetabulum), femur, and ankle joint actually
precluded an erect, parasagittal gait.  So forget the cursorial
hindlimb proportions, the subarctometatarsalian and digitigrade pes,
and the nonexistent-to-feeble opposability of the manus and pes -
according to Gong et al., _Microraptor_ couldn't run bipedally on the
ground even if it wanted to!