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Re: What feathers mean

It certainly is true that a lot of paleontology is based on rank speculation,
but not the origin of birds from theropods. The relationship is based on
detailed character analysis that shows extreme similarity in the skulls and
skeletons of theropods (especially advanced ones) and birds (especially
primitive ones). The finding of feathers in a less advanced theropod is just
icing on the paleocake. It, however, remains possible that some theropods
developed feathers in parallel with birds, but a common origin seems
preferable at this time.