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Re: Archaeopteryx or Velociraptor (I'm back...)...



At 10:15 PM 7/6/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I'm finally back from vacations, I know I have missed a big arguing!! But 
>I have a question for you dino-guys!
>Does birds come from Archaeopteryx or late evolved small Dromaeosaurids, 
>like Velociraptor?!?

Most recent analyses show that Archaeopteryx is somewhat more closely
related to modern birds then either group is to Dromaeosaurids.  However,
Archaeopteryx is exceedingly primitive, and the common ancestor of
dromaeosaurids and birds probably looked like something very similar to
Archaeopteryx.

Dromaeosaurids, however, are too specialized to be directly ancestral to
modern birds.

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