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Saturday, 12 April 2014

Update on "Chickasaurus"

Susan Day posted an update to the story and we are grateful for the information:
Read the Story HERE

In the meantime this letter was sent to my gmail account:

Philip Renne 
Apr 11 (1 day ago)

Hi Dale
First, love your blogs, you never fail to bring interesting insights and mysteries to my attention.
On the subject of the cave thunderbird skeleton, I think I have proof that whatever that thing was it was flightless.  Would you agree that this circled red area is a wing bone, and an atrophied wing bone at that?
Inline image 1
No orinthologist am I, so I would be interested to read your feedback.

Considering this, we now have this image that was attached to Sharon Day's updated story at the end:

Want to see what he would look like erect?
--Fortunately the body as shown still preserves the image of the forearm bones, the radius and ulna, and by direct measure they are TWICE the size as indicated in the "Erect posture" reconstruction. And as a matter of fact the radius and ulna look pretty large and robust in comparison to the rest of the skeleton, more like a flying bird with strong wings.
. Here is a version restoring those limb bones to their proper position, to scale:

 Against that information, the humerus IS rather thin and weak looking. My suggestion was that this was an immature or deformed individual. But the forelimb is not small or degenerate-looking.

I wrote back to Phillip, concluding:

I am more concerned with the apparent lack of a breastbone. That makes things more puzzling and much less certain. If we had Pleistocene ratites in North America its a new one on me.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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