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RE: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

> Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 10:27:01 +1000
> From: tijawi@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.
> Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org> wrote:

> > First finding, Archaeopteryx does not group with cursors. It groups with 
> > Confuciusornis, Sinornis and Cathayornis. This cluster overlaps with 
> > Galliform birds (Fig 5 B). The nearest non
> > avian - theropods are troodontids like Saurornithoides, Sinornithoides and 
> > oviraptorids like Avimimus.
> >
> > So, the empirical evidence indicates that galliform birds are definitely 
> > good analogs for basal avialans as far as leg proportions go.

> The aim of the Gatesy and Middleton paper was to highlight the
> impressive locomotor diversity of birds, as attested by the huge
> disparity in hindlimb proportions within the group. The same sector
> of ternary morphospace occupied by _Archaeopteryx_ and galliforms also
> includes some pigeons, trogons and birds of prey - so I would hesitate
> to compare hindlimb proportions between modern birds and basal avians
> as a way of identifying possible analogs for _Archaeopteryx_.


I agree.


 Given that those modern bird you name, are all *groups* of birds, I completely 
expect that they'd be a bad comparison with *A. lithographica*. (If you were to 
use that, as it, you wouldn't be comparing apples with lemons, you're comparing 
apples with citruses (or apples with fruits))



So perhaps the question should be, of those pigeons, which are in the same 
morphospace as *A. lithographica*? (and the same for the birds of prey, 
trogons, galliforms)