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RE: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

> Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 16:13:01 +1000
> From: tijawi@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.
> Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >  Then what is a great analog for basal paravians?

> There may not be a "great analog". Not in the modern world, anyway.
> Why is it so important to have a modern analog in the first place?

 So we can understand how something works, by watching something which is 
near-enough to the ancient organism's methods.

> With birds we have a group that evolved from within a lineage of
> erect, terrestrial obligate bipeds. This might only have happened
> once in the history of the Earth (dunno about pterosaurs). It may not
> be appropriate to use behaviors documented in modern birds (which
> collectively represent a highly derived subset of Avialae) to try and
> reconstruct incipient arboreal or flight behaviors in basal paravians
> or basal avialans. 

 Fine.  Then what behaviors should we use and reconstruct?

> To approach this issue scientifically, I think we have to identify
> morphological correlates of arboreality in fossil theropods,

So...we're back to looking for modern bird anatomy in proto- and non-birds?

> rather
> than invoke behaviors in modern birds as "easy" for any small theropod
> to do.

That's why some of us mention non-bird analogies.