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Archie the Dinosaur?



   Just a quick note.  If you plan on ordering something from the DinoStore
for Christmas, do it by 10am Wednesday to ensure you can get it.  After that
it gets iffy.  Manufacturers are literally almost out of stock so once it's
gone it's gone.

>As they were touring the dinosaur hall another little boy 
>standing near them pointed to an Archie cast and asked what kind of 
>dinosaur it was.  Little Matt, looking quite perturbed, immediately 
>piped up (with reasonably correct pronunciation), "That's NOT a 
>dinosaur, its an ARCHAEOPTERYX!!"

   Which brings up a question:  is Archie considered a dinosaur or a bird?
Obviously, many people, including myself, consider birds to be dinosaurs ...
so, ergo, if Archie is a bird it is a dinosaur.  On my web page, I have
pictures of Archaeopteryx along with Deinonychus and Utahraptor for my
"Raptor" section ("raptor" referring to Maniraptors, not Dromaeosaurids even
though that's what the article is about).

   I suppose the true question is ... hell, I don't know what my question
is.  One Archaeopteryx skeleton was mis-diagnosed as Compsognathus for
decades.  At what point does it stop being a "dinosaur" and start being a
"bird."

   <sigh> ... that's probably as clear as mud ....  If anybody wants to try
to answer this maybe they should state the question too ....

   I suppose what I want to know comes from two different viewpoints:  1)
If birds are not dinosaurs, deserving of their own classification, on which
side does Archaeopteryx come down, dinosaur or bird; 2) Taking the POV that
birds are simply another family of dinosaurs, where does Archaeopteryx fit
in?  Does it belong in Avalae with modern birds, or Dromaosauridae,
whatever?  At what point would you make the switch?

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