Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Neural flight-control system

Interesting passage:


"Researchers will now race to the fossils
of other early birds and bird-like theropods
to look for the features identified in
Archaeopteryx. What are the details of the
transition? Did all of the ‘avian’ neural components
evolve together or was this a piecemeal
process? It might turn out that the non-flying progenitors of birds had developed many of these components. If so, then whereas pterosaurs clearly built their neuralflight-control system from scratch6, birds may have evolutionarily co-opted for flight the advanced neural machinery they inheritedwhich was subsequently honed as flight improved. Perhaps most controversially, if a
‘flight brain’ or ‘flight ear’ can ever be characterized,
can it provide a test of the heretical
notion that some of the most bird-like
Cretaceous theropods (such as Velociraptor)
are actually the secondarily flightless descendants
of early, Archaeopteryx-like birds8?"

Concerning "the advanced neural machinery [it is claimed that] they inherited"
What did they inherit it from?

Actually Witmer puts it in an interesting way.He first says:
"It might turn out that the non-flying progenitors of birds had developed
many of these components."
He then says
"birds may have evolutionarily co-opted for flight the advanced neural machinery they inherited"

Since the dino to bird enthusiasts have pre-judged that the bird characteristics came from dinosaurs, they conclude that those dinosaurs must have had the "advanced neural machinery" - even though we have zero evidence of anything like that. Purely circular reasoning.

On the other hand, pterosaurs did have the neural-control system like birds. That is a FACT.

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