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Re: Way cool kagu

Gregory S. Paul <GSP1954@aol.com> wrote:

> Microraptor also has very large pectoral crest, stout furcula and coracoid,
> plus a sternal plate that is broader than that of a kagu, and a flattened
> central finger to support the outer primaries not present in Archaeopteryx.

A large deltopectoral crest is found in a great many non-avialan
theropods, such as _Ornitholestes_, _Yixianosaurus_, and
_Deinonychus_, just to mention a few.  This, and the other characters
that you mention, are not necessarily tied to aerial locomotion in
_Microraptor_.  True, many volant avialans of the Mesozoic have a
fairly impressive deltopectoral crest as well (_Confuciusornis_,
_Sapeornis_, _Protopteryx_, _Ichthyornis_, etc etc).  So this is a
shifty character.

> The legs are very long, but that is because they too are supporting big
> wings.

Or because _Microraptor_ was cursorial?  (This might fit with the
subarctometatarsalian pes...?)  I know you are certain that the large
hindwings precluded (or at least inhibited) terrestrial locomotion...
but this is not set in stone.

> What we really need is a lot more data on the kagu. So one of you get a
> grant to go to New Caledonia (very nice place, McCale and his PT 73 crew went
> on leave there, is big tourist beach destination for the French). Find out
> exactly what their flight abilities are and are not. Really badly needed is
> the weight of the combined flight muscles as a percent of body mass (also of
> leg muscles). So kill a kagu or two - never mind that they are endangered and
> it is very illegal - and get that data. How's that for a project?

I'm on it!