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

> Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2012 14:48:43 +0200
> From: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: 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.

David .. I've also seen corvids [magpies] do this as well. And they're not
particularly strong fliers .. rather clumsy I would say. I think birds do
this to pick up speed .. and just before they enter a canopy to land on a