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Re: flight beginnings

On Tue, Mar 24th, 2015 at 6:18 PM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:

> It may not be a coincidence that in some of these maniraptorans the
> proportions of the third toe are similar to those of the modern kakapo
> (_Strigops_), a flightless ground-dwelling parrot that climbs tree
> trunks and uses its wings to return to the ground.

The kakapo climbs in order to obtain its preferred food - the 'fruit' of the 
rimu tree (a podocarp 
that produces fleshy scales on its cones). If its breeding cycle wasn't so 
intimately tied to 
rimu 'fruit', then chances are it would have become completely flightless (or 
'glideless', as the case 
may be).

If feathered limbs in early theropods developed for a similar reason, then it 
makes you wonder 
what arboreal resource those early theropods found so valuable. It's not beyond 
the realms of 
possibility that they too were interested in 'fruiting' podocarps.


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj