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Re: Sinocalliopteryx (Theropoda: Compsognathidae) ate confuciusornithids and dromaeosaurids



On top of all this, I think  there is an unconscious assumption in a
> lot of discussions that the flight states are "stuck on the ground
> like a turtle" vs. "as aerial as a sparrow or starling". But consider
> that many modern birds do perfectly well with what from a sparrow's
> point of view are extremely limited modes of flight: birds like
> galliforms, for instance.

I agree! Galliforms are bad examples, though: they are very _powerful_ fliers. Basically all they do is lift off from the ground, lifting their wings way above shoulder height (famous criticism of WAIR).

Sparrows are interesting in another way: they practice undulating flight. They fly with so much power that they don't need to sustain the effort. So, every other second, they just fold their wings and engage in free fall. Only passeriforms and piciforms (their sister-group) seem to do that, though.