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Re: Microraptor also ate fish

So, using your methods, do you feel comfortable saying that there is 'no
way' Pteropus could roost on the terminal branches of trees? It lacks the
reverse hallux of perching birds. It weighs the same as Microraptor (0.7 -
1.2 kg). Like Microraptor it has long, curved foot claws and retains a
claw on its thumb. And, as I cite you below, you say that, since it lacks
the perching foot of birds, or scales on its metatarsus, or other
adaptations that clearly make it adapted to roosting in trees. I think
you've been clear that its not enough to have a gripping mechanism, it
must have THE SAME gripping mechanism as any animal that you compare it
to, like a 1kg raven. Is this correct, Mr. Williams?




My point, of course, is that Microraptor does have a gripping mechanism.
It has a free thumb with a highly curved claw, and a 2nd manual digit as
well. It also has a 2nd toe that is apparently opposable to the
metatarsus. Fowler et al. (2011) found that dromaeosaurs have adaptations
for gripping in the pes. I refer to Pteropus here to show that two animals
do not need THE SAME gripping adaptations in order to be used as analogs
to one another, so long as they both have gripping adaptations.

Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
(212) 496 3544

>_Microraptor_ has not a single feature that suggests it could roost in
>trees.  Not one.  If you want to claim that _Microraptor_ was capable
>of roosting anyway, then I cannot say that you are wrong.  What I will
>say is that your hypothesis cannot be tested.  Therefore, the question
>is not worth pursuing (scientifically, anyway).
>> I renew my assertion that comparative morphology must draw on
>>comparisons to living
>> animals, and that ravens, turkeys, diving petrels, and so on are highly
>>informative analogs.
>And I renew my objection.  :-)
>... if the two animals don't have the "same feet", you can't
>use them as analogs for how they could have used their feet to grasp
>terminal branches.