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

John Grehan jgrehan at sciencebuff.org
Fri Jul 31 13:15:18 CDT 2009

But not the juvenile stage. 

John Grehan 

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 11:48 PM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [Taxacom] Phylogenetic Classification? (the Dawn of Birds)

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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