[Taxacom] Phylogenetic Classification? (the Dawn of Birds)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Jul 30 22:48:00 CDT 2009

Hi John, 
       Sounds very interesting, but I would think
Deinonychus would be a little heavy to have "flight ability". The
largest living flying bird (the great bustard) is less than 50 pounds,
so Deinonychus was most likely at least 2-3 times heavier.               
      I assume the large claw you refer to is the one on the
foot, and the only other functions I remember ever being suggested was
defense or climbing. If Deinonychus could climb trees, I suppose it
could then potentially glide very short distances (onto prey?), but it
would be difficult to directly compare it to the "flight ability" of
modern birds. We don't even know for sure how well Archaeopteryx could
fly.                 -------Ken Kinman 
P.S. However, even Deinonychus would probably have looked very
bird-like, even as a predator on the ground. Here's one reconstruction
of what it might have looked like (Yikes, sort of like a gigantic
road-runner on steroids, with teeth and grasping hands): 
John Grehan wrote: 
Our museum has a paper soon to be published that has information bearing
on flight ability in the Velociraptor relative Deinonychus. I'll post
the information when the paper is published. Also included is a
functional interpretation for the large claw that does not involve its
use as a predatory mechanism. 

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