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>     I think the discussions over birds origins on this list are 
>interesting, but quickly loosing sight of the fact that the subject is 
>completely speculative. ......

The simple fact that no good protobirds previous to 
>Archaeopteryx are known renders the entire bird origins debate to complete 
>speculation.  Tossing around ideas are fun, but we shouldn't loose sight of 
>the fact that the unknowns are too numerous to take this debate very
>LN Jeff    

You are right, of course.  I should point out that although I have been
saying quite a lot about this lately (from a semi-amateur perspective, I
hasten to add) I am not espousing any one particular theory for precisely
these reasons.  What I am trying to do is point out some parallel approaches
in living birds, apply a little (some will undoubtedly say, extremely
little) logic to the issue, and particularly to jump on types of arguments
that bother me (in particular the "They couldn't have done this because...."
or "This feature was obviously used to..." approaches) especially when these
are used as building blocks to construct larger theories.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
Home: 1825 Shady Creek Court                  Messages: (416) 368-4661
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