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RE: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.(fixed)
sorry - computer trouble for a bit when I was snipping away the paragraphs I
wasn't replying to.
> > Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 11:05:52 +1000
> > From: email@example.com
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Subject: Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.
> > K Kripchak <email@example.com> wrote:
> > > It's hard not to interpret the perching foot as being the linchpin for
> > > arboreality when it is repeatedly referred too during most discussion.
> > > Sure, they weren't *perfect* hands, or feet, or ungul geometry, or
> > > limb/digit length ratios, or whatever for grasping branches... But why
> > > expect animals in transition to have the perfect anything or fully
> > > functioning whatevers for behaviors or niches they were in the process
> > > of adapting to/being selected for to exploit?
> > I agree. Arboreal behavior had to start somewhere. But IMHO it's
> > significant that the overall proportions of _Archaeopteryx_,
> > _Microraptor_ etc are those of a bipedal, cursorial theropod. They
> > all had a long neck, a long tail (although generally shorter than the
> > ancestral condition), and long legs for terrestrial locomotion.
> Wonder if this is one of the reasons why the birds-are-dino-cousins(not
> descendants) groups decided that it had to be a non-theropodian archosaur
> > But petrels, as typical for procellariform birds, have bodies built
> > for flight and life at sea. They have short necks, short tails and
> > short legs. All neornitheans have the benefit of being descended from
> > an arboreal, perching bird. Comparing these advanced birds with
> > _Archaeopteryx_, _Microraptor_ etc is inappropriate, given just how
> > different the bauplans are. It's just as bad as using the juvenile
> > hoatzin as an analog for tree-climbing behavior in _Archaeopteryx_.
> > Tinamous are known to roost in trees, in spite of the reduced or
> > absent hallux. They don't really perch, and use their tarsi to help
> > them "sit". But again, although terrestrial, the bauplan is that of
> > an advanced modern avian.
> great. so just find us something sufficiently theropodian. (a kangaroo,
> perhaps? wait, they can climb trees too)
> > > No, no... I understood what you meant by ambiguous. "Who or whom"
> > > was insinuating that to us, the characters/traits are ambiguous, but
> > > if the animal put itself up in a tree, they were anything but.
> > If an animal habitually spent its time in trees, then the characters
> > wouldn't be ambiguous.
which gets us back to the "its not a dinosaur, its a bird" argument.
> > > Just like everyone else who lays awake critically thinking about this
> > > stuff, I'm drawing my own set of conclusions based on our current
> > > understandings... not just pulling them out of wishes and desires for
> > > coolness. Although arboreal microraptorans are rather cool :-)
> > Cool: agreed! But if we're going to put microraptorans in trees, it
> > has to be for the right reasons.
> to be the pinata.