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Re: Deinonychus Morphological Variations within Ontogeny

Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org> wrote:

> Senter, 2006, is grossly in error.
> Dromaeosaurs had a glenoid orientation that does not even resemble that
> depicted by Senter.

Fantastic!  If deinonychosaurs and basal avialans (archaeopterygids,
confuciusornithids and the like) were capable of even a rudimentary
flight stroke, it opens up a great many more scenarios for the origin
of flight in birds.  This includes those scenarios that entail
flapping (rather than just "passive" gliding), such as wing-assisted
incline running (WAIR) and controlled flapping descent (CFD).

Nevertheless, the hypothesis that aerial locomotion in these taxa
primarily consisted of gliding is consistent with the feather
morphology of these same taxa (e.g., Feo et al., 2015).  But this
doesn't rule out some role for flapping, if the shoulder anatomy
allowed it.  This debate on the aerial abilities of
non-ornithothoracean pennaraptorans has a long way to go.