Response to Comments on “Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability”

  title={Response to Comments on “Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability”},
  author={Robert L Nudds and Gareth J. Dyke},
  pages={320 - 320}
Paul and Zheng et al. challenge our conclusions regarding the flight of Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx, which derive from our method of assessing flight ability from estimated feather strength. They suggest that our mass and rachis data for these fossil birds are incorrect. Neither comment, however, invalidates our method nor alters conclusions of poor flight ability based upon our original data. We encourage researchers to use our method before critiquing our conclusions regarding early bird… Expand
Values for gravity which would enable these birds to fly with weaker feathers are calculated based on the controversial theory that palaeogravity was less and are compared with earlier estimates of palAEogravity derived from a range of other life forms from approximately the same time period. Expand
Reassessment of the Wing Feathers of Archaeopteryx lithographica Suggests No Robust Evidence for the Presence of Elongated Dorsal Wing Coverts
The qualitative arguments forwarded in support of the elongated covert hypothesis are neither robust nor supported quantitatively, and it is premature to conclude unequivocally that the wing of Archaeopteryx consisted of primary feathers overlaid with elongated coverts. Expand
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The findings suggest that the fully modern avian flight feather, and possibly a modern capacity for powered flight, evolved crownward of Confuciusornis, long after the origin of asymmetrical flight feathers, and much later than previously recognized. Expand
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Response to comments by C. Palmer on my paper, Feather structure, biomechanics and biomimetics: the incredible lightness of being
The paper reviews the overall design principles in the feather rachis and elaborates upon recent functional interpretations and considers the validity of a study purporting to use quantitative methods and engineering principles to show that the iconic fossil bird Archaeopteryx was incapable of flapping flight. Expand
Recent advances on the functional and evolutionary morphology of the amniote respiratory apparatus
  • M. Lambertz
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2016
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Comment on “Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability”
The authors' measurements of Confuciusornis specimens suggest that their conclusions need to be further evaluated, and that the primary feathers of these two basal birds were too weak to support sustained flight. Expand
Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability
Analysis of the flight feathers of early Mesozoic birds Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis shows that the rachises were much thinner and weaker than those of modern birds, and thus the birds were not capable of flight. Expand
Life history of a basal bird: morphometrics of the Early Cretaceous Confuciusornis
A multivariate morphometric study involving measurements of more than 100 skeletons of C. sanctus shows any correlation between size distribution and the presence or absence of blade-like rectrices (tail feathers), thus implying, that if these feathers are sexual characters, they are not correlated with sexual size dimorphism. Expand
Anatomy and systematics of the Confuciusornithidae (Theropoda, Aves) from the late Mesozoic of northeastern China. Bulletin of the AMNH ; no. 242
The Anatomy of Confuciusornis sanctus, a Treatise on the Forms of Communication and Disorders of Communication, edited by David I. Dickinson, 2nd Ed. Expand