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Omni article



I was in a doctor's office yesterday and, for lack of anything better
to read, picked up the June 1994 issue of Omni. It included an 
article by someone whose name I didn't recognize (and have, unfortunately,
forgotten in between the discussions of symptoms and blood pressure
numbers) who asserted that, rather than birds being descended from
dinosaurs, dinosaurs are descended from birds. In typical popular
press fashion, no references were provided, the author's qualifications
were not stated, and the article was clearly one-sided. (Most
obviously, he referred to the common hypothesis that birds are
descended from dinosaurs as "BADD" and then talked about "BADD
scientists" and the like.) The main points of the argument seemed to
be that it is unusual for small animals to be descended from large
ones, and that the most birdlike dinosaurs date to much later than
Archaeopteryx. The author asserts that a line of birds branching
off to produce various dinosaur lines would explain all this. (He
either hadn't heard of gigantothermy, or ignored it in the interest
of simplicity, in his discussions of metabolism.) I'm not prepared
to believe this on the basis of this article--Omni isn't exactly
known for scientific rigor--but I thought I'd at least ask whether
there's any real support for this idea in the paleontological
community, and what evidence if any exists for it.

Vicki Rosenzweig
vr%acmcr.uucp@murphy.com
New York, NY