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Re: Microraptor hanqingi, new species from China.

Am 28.05.2012 05:00, schrieb Tim Williams:

 GSPaul <GSP1954@aol.com> wrote:

> [...] Can't discuss this openly because some journals won't then
> consider the paper.

And indeed, he didn't send that message to the list (or at least I never got it). Tim, be ashamed, you made the mistake I just made four hours earlier. List administrators, please consider deleting Tim's post.

However, now that I've seen what's going on, I find my mind entirely unblown, because I must immediately ask (as Tim did) if there's a clear way to distinguish branch-grasping from prey-grasping adaptations. How important is branch-grasping to secretarybirds and, I suppose, seriemas? Do they just occasionally do it because they can, or do they use it to enhance their reproductive success one way or another? -- Wikipedia says secretarybirds nest "at a height of 5 -- 7 m" "in *Acacia* trees", so that answers that question for one of them; *Cariama cristata* nests "on the ground or in a bush or tree up to 3 m above the ground"; *Chunga burmeisteri* has a very short article that doesn't mention nesting. So, there may not be a bird today that uses its feet to grasp prey but not branches, which would leave you without anything to test your hypothesis against.

Where do phorusrhacids plot?

 Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:

> [...] 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)

 No, I don't think it makes a difference. The differences in
 locomotory styles (hip-based vs knee-based) means that using
 hindlimb proportions to compare _Archaeopteryx_ to *any* modern avian
 has profound limitations.

I agree.