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Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

On 5/24/2012 12:44 AM, Tim Williams wrote:

  But if you're a theropod, and you want to spend a large
part of your life sitting on boughs or branches, you need to have a
way of holding on.

This is an active hypothesis, and requires evidence.

And good luck on that -- it is mechanically incorrect relative to mere sitting or even standing on large, more or less horizontal branches/crotches by even inanimate objects, much less well-clawed theropods that presumably had reasonably competent balancing systems -- "large branch" being defined as relatively rigid, and significantly larger in diameter than the contact point upon which the object or theropod balances.

Moreover, there is no obvious selective path to a perching foot in the presence of active ground-foraging, the absence of active in-tree foraging, and/or exploitation of small, flexible branches, such as are found in the terminal branch environment.

A feathered ground-foraging creature with the ability to periodically climb into a tree and exploit it as a safe place to rest need have no obvious perching foot to be on a tree-to-ground flight path.