[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Microraptor also ate fish
Jason Brougham <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> We have three winged animals weighing about a kilogram.
> 1) Perching - adapted raven, Corvus.
> 2) Microraptor, with gripping pes.
> 3) Pteropus, with no gripping adaptations.
> 1 and 3 roost in trees. I don't think you can say, with any logical
> validity, that there is no way 2 did.
I disagree with the premise of this question. The feet of _Pteropus_
(fruit bats) have excellent gripping adaptations. Their toes are very
much like the fingers of other suspensory mammals, and are highly
adapted for suspending the animal from tree branches.* Thus, the pes
of _Pteropus_ is definitely arboreally adapted.
BTW, I'm not saying that there is "no way" that _Microraptor_ could
roost in trees. My point is that the pedal morphology of
_Microraptor_ shows no apparent adaptations for roosting or perching.
If you can put together a case that _Microraptor_ indeed has
adaptations for roosting (or perching), then go for it. This sounds
like a working hypothesis that deserves to be tested.
However, if your argument is that there are no such adaptations in
_Microraptor_, but it was capable of roosting or perching anyway, then
(scientifically speaking) this is where we part company. There is
nothing to test here.
I don't dispute that _Microraptor_ had a pes capable of gripping. But
so did the pes of _Deinonychus_. I remain unconvinced that the
gripping pes of _Microraptor_ allowed it to roost. But I'd be quite
happy to be refuted on this point, by way of solid biomechanical
evidence. Intuitively, I really like the notion of an arboreal
_Microraptor_. However, the anatomical evidence in favor of an
arboreal lifestyle is weak to non-existent. There is certainly
evidence that _Microraptor_ was scansorial - but this is a long way
from being arboreal.
* Among other sources, the pedal morphology of pteropodid bats was
discussed (and figured) by Boyer and Bloch (2008) in their chapter on
plesiadapiforms in "Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology: A Tribute to
Frederick S. Szalay.")