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Re: Asteroid impact finally confirmed?

At 07:20 PM 2/18/97 -0700, martz@holly.ColoState.EDU wrote:
>> Dinosaurs (non-avian)   nearly all wiped out 
>> Dinosaurs (avian)       did pretty well
>     According to Fedducia, all birds except for one little group of
>shore-birds were wiped out.

Feduccia is demonstrably wrong.

Anseriformes, Gaviiformes, Procellariformes, and Charadriiformes are all
represented in the Late Cretaceous record.  Given commonly accepted avian
phylogenies (including those used by Feduccia) in which these are
monophyletic groups with sister-group relationships to particular other
living bird orders, most of the other neognath orders must have been present
in the Late Cretaceous.  If the neognaths are present, than the ratites and
tinamous (or at least a lineage containing their ancestors outside of all
other birds) must also have been present.  Thus, most of the major groups of
living birds were around in the Late K.

(see Chiappe, 1995, Nature 378:349-355 and papers cited therein).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877