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Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

On May 25, 2012, at 1:26 PM, Don Ohmes wrote:
> 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.
> Evidence, please...
> In particular, evidence of the need for special equipment, beyond the 
> standard small theropod package.

Wouldn't the evidence in this case just be comparative studies of arboreal 
adaptations?  Not sure what else it could be.  We don't have any non-avian 
theropods handy to throw into a tree (wouldn't that be fun, though, if we did?  
Theropod chucking.  New sport).

Like Scott, I find your model of arboreal refugia quite reasonable.  I'm 
wondering, though, what testable predictions your model would make compared to, 
for example, a model that posits entirely terrestrial habits for paravians.  I 
think the roosting/resting concept has serious merit, but I'm not sure how to 
go about demonstrating it has serious merit more formally (thought experiments 
and scenario building are fun, but not terribly useful).

Also, for all of the individuals in the current thread: we should be sure to 
give good cause at each step for putting paravians in trees to begin with.  The 
potentially intuitive nature of arboreal proto-flight does not constitute good 


Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
(443) 280-0181