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The Raptors Bad Rap
"The Raptors Bad Rap" is the title of the feature article in The George
Washington University's alumni magazine (GW Magazine) for summer 1997.
Written by James M. Clark, asst. prof. of Biological Sciences, it is based on
his participation in the 1990's expeditions to Mongolia.
Cover art shows a mother Oviraptor presenting a meal to her clutch of
hatchlings, even as birds bring food to their fledglings. Photographs in the
article show the 1993 fossils of an Oviraptorid sitting on its nest, and the
fossilized remains of a developing Oviraptorid still in its egg.
Comments from the article: "The skull and skeleton of oviraptors and
Velociraptor share many traits with those of Archeaopteryx and other
primitive birds. . . . That oviraptors sat in their nests in the same
position taken by birds . . . is . . . no surprise, because this behavior
must have evolved sometime after birds and crocodylians diverged, and . . .
it appeared before (or at the same time as) the evolution of oviraptors. It
also tells us that during the evolution of birds, the behavior of sitting on
nests evolved before the origin of flight."