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Feduccia's new bird book



I just picked up a copy of

Feduccia, Alan, 1996. _The Origin and Evolution of Birds_, Yale University
Press, New Haven, Connecticut and London: xii + 420 pp.

ISBN 0-300-06460-8

This is a great book, a must-have item for anyone interested in the origin
and evolution of the avian archosaurs. While most of the book concerns the
Cenozoic, several sections deal with Mesozoic birds. Of all the professional
paleornithological studies on the market, this one comes closest to the BCF
dinosaur-bird phylogeny. All that is needed is to redraw a few lines in the
phylogeny--which, when done, would explain the numerous "convergences"
between the "independent" theropod and bird clades--and, Voila! Feduccia
absolutely rejects the "ground-up" hypothesis of the origin of flight and
picks holes in the current American Museum theropod-bird cladogram (thereby
removing _Mononykus_ from the avialan bird clade). He also entertains ideas
concerning the relationships of such archosaurs as _Longisquama_ and
_Megalancosaurus_ to the archosaur-bird lineages. A refreshingly different
read with respect to the Mesozoic birds, certain to generate some interesting
debates.