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Re: Archaeopteryx skull redescribed and reconstructed

David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> ...which, in turn, would be majorly bizarre anyway. This is _not_ how extant 
> birds achieve
> their prokinesis.

No doubts on that score.  Most versions of a prokinetic
_Archaeopteryx_ identified a putative "bending zone" within the nasal
or at the naso-frontal contact, rather than a sliding joint. (Although
to be fair, some workers at the time regarded the skull of
_Archaeopteryx_ as being akinetic, such as Whetstone, 1983).  In the
same vein, it was once argued that _Confuciusornis_ had a
"naso-frontal hinge" (e.g., Hou et al., 1995).

> Some attempts looked really desperate, along the lines of "but it's not a 
> mammal or a
> turtle or a crocodile, it just _has_ to bend somewhere". I think this comes 
> from treating
> some squamate archetype as the default "reptile": default reptiles have skull 
> kinesis,
> birds have skull kinesis, so logically Archie must have had skull kinesis, 
> somewhere,
> somehow...

Yes, and in some cases (but by no means all) the interpretation of
kinesis was colored by the "fact" that _Archaeopteryx_ was a bird, and
so "must" have been capable of some form of bird-like intracranial
kinesis (usually prokinesis).