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RE: Larry Martin's climbing Archaeopteryx

I agree with Mr. Creisler.

Within the field of evolutionary theory, if we have opponents to our 
hypotheses, I think this can have a sharpening effect on our work. We may check 
ourselves more carefully and give ourselves a higher standard for certainty 
before we assert something.

I hesitate to mention it, because I was sort of hoping to keep it low - key, 
but I wrote a sort of essay about Dr. Martin, on the event of his death. I 
really, really, did not want it to make any insinuations that Dr. Martin could 
not defend, but I also wanted to be honest about my disagreements with him. I 
hope it came out fair.

It is here, for anyone interested:


I'd be delighted to get feedback.
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] on behalf of Ben Creisler 
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2013 3:10 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Larry Martin's climbing Archaeopteryx

From: Ben Creisler

I've had a few off-list responses to my citation of the Martin, et al.
paper comparing Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis. Just to be clear, I
cited this paper because it is available online and shows Martin's
ideas about skeletons supposedly designed for upright tree-climbing in
early birds. I don't endorse these ideas, which I strongly suspect
will end up as historical curiosities.

However, for historical research purposes, it might be useful to point
out that Martin did in fact publish some papers about his ideas and
photos of his model can be seen online, in response to:

"I've never seen any discussion of this in the literature, nor have
any pictures of the reconstruction ever surfaced online. "

The main paper (which I have not seen and which does not appear to be
available online) would be:

Martin, L. D. 1995. A new skeletal model of Archaeopteryx.
Archaeopteryx, 1333-40.

An early abstract that cites supposed anatomical features indicating
an upright climbing posture can be se
this page from a 1994 issue of the Journal of Ornithology at this


A photo of Martin's climbing monkey-like model of Archaeopteryx is
available in the Wikipedia Commons, although it's not used in the
English-language Wikipedia articles about Archaeopteryx that I have