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Re: Back to the dino-bird thang



[ I think this is supposed to be a joke, but with George I'm rarely
  ever certain of such a diagnosis...  -- MR ]

In a message dated 96-12-02 17:20:41 EST, jpoling@dinosauria.com (Jeff
Poling) writes:

> >But it clarifies nothing to say that birds are dinosaurs.  Any child can 
> >see that birds are not dinosaurs.
> 
>    Really?  Exactly why is that?  If you show a child an ancient
> bird like _Archaeopteryx_, especially if it's standing next to
> "Sinosauropteryx", will he be able to tell the difference?  If you
> take a modern bird and break off the keeled sternum, and stand it
> next to a similar sized, beaked, non-avian dinosaur with its tail
> snapped off, will he be able to tell the difference?

For that matter, if you knock the wings off a hummingbird and replace them
with short, tridactyl forearms, knock off the head and replace it with a
small-brained, big-toothed head sporting a deep, hinged jaw and a wide
antorbital fenestra, replace the pygostyle with an elongate tail equipped
with deep hemal arches, replace the feathers with tubercled skin, extend the
back, and generally enlarge the animal from a length of two inches to about
30 feet, then, yes, I think a child would indeed have a tough time
distinguishing a hummingbird from a predatory dinosaur. Just to be on the
safe side, however, you might want to rework the pelvis so that bones are
unfused and the pubis is perpendicular to the spinal column and has an
enlarged distal boot.