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Re: Question on Anchiornis huxleyi

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <tholtz@umd.edu> wrote:

> Ultimately it is far less significant to resolve
> whether Archaeopteryx &/or Anchiornis &/or Aurornis &/or Xiaotingia &/or etc. 
> are basal
> avialians or basal deinonychosaurs or so forth. Instead we should recognize 
> that we have
> very likely homed in on the morphotype which gave rise to both the 
> dromaeosaurid-line
> and the bird-line.

I couldn't agree more.  Alas, while the morphotype of this
dromaeosaurid/bird ancestor is being nailed down, the ecotype is still
open to vigorous debate.  Was this ancestral form terrestrial or
arboreal?  Did  fly, or not fly?  Was it a predator, or a herbivore,
or both (omnivore)?