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Re: What feathers mean

GSP1954@aol.com wrote:
> 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.

This sort of measured response (and others I've received) is very 
encouraging to a non-pro like me.  The rush-to-conclusion hysteria I 
perceived about the compsognathid in question was based on an October 19 
page 1 article in the New York Times, which, it turns out, completely 
misinterpreted the excitement at SVP.  Thanks to all for setting me 
straight -- though you don't all agree with each other, none of you sound 
like one Malcolm Browne, science reporter, made you out to sound.