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Re: 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 ...
 > who asserted that, rather than birds being descended from
 > dinosaurs, dinosaurs are descended from birds. ...
 >  The main points of the argument seemed to
 > be that it is unusual for small animals to be descended from large
 > ones,

This is rather bogus.  I know of at least one good counter-example,
unless he wants to claim that small mammal-like reptiles were
present all along.  That is, the earliest, and indeed most living,
mammals were small organisms which evolved from the mammal-like
reptiles, which were largish organisms.

Also, the one very compelling argument says that the marmosets
are derived from full-sized monkeys, not directly from prosimians.

Size reduction can also be seen in many other groups - tardigrades
appear to be dwarfed onychophorans, for instance.

 > and that the most birdlike dinosaurs date to much later than
 > Archaeopteryx.

So?  The idea is that birds and "advanced" theropod dinosaurs
represent an adaptive radiation, not that there was a simple
linear relationship among them all.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.