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First Uncinant / Human Evolution / 1st Theriz.



When I said I wasn't happy about Paul Davis classing _Chaoyangia_ as an enant., (apart from the fact that I haven't studied - or indeed had the oportunity to study - his argument, which I'm sure is wonderful) I hadn't considered the obvious possibility that it was the first uncinant (since it has uncinate processes (little hooks) on its ribs - which no enantiornithiform...  type bird has, but some later dinos and all modern birds "have").  As such, I approve most heartily.
 
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Jeffrey Willson wrote recently on _Self-Made Man : Human Evolution from Eden to Extinction?_  by Jonathan Kingdon. 
Amazon.com page with reviews &synopses at:<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ts/book-reviews/0471305383/ref=qid_900590485/002-5189509-4522605>
 
I've been reading palaeoanthropology books for 30 years now, and this is the best I've seen (though Jared Diamond's ". . .3rd Chimp", & "Guns. . .Steel" are essentials). The first half on ancient man is just fantastic (I think that is the book with a 12,000 yr old family group portrait from a French cave wall - one bloke looks like a rather vicious Leonardo da Vinci).  Most books on the subject leave you more confused.  He believes two different _Homo erectus_ types occupied Asia tilll "quite" recently, recent enough for them to co-exist with some of the newer races of modern man as well as the Neanderthals of course.  Must have been an interesting time.  The second half deals with all sorts of modern man stuff, and the idea of very dark skinned types originating in the E. Indies is fascinating, very interesting and prettty believable.  (I'm not so sure Neanderthals were that light skinned - if you eat a lot of meat and not much cereal, light skin isn't necessary, and some of them lived in Spain; but then again some temporate primates are light skinned).
Kingdon is also a world expert on african mammals etc.
 
I notice L. Sprague de Camp has written "The Ape-man within".  I liked his book on Ancient Engineers where he tells us the canal linking the Danube and the Rhine was abandoned (by Charlemagne?) because his workmen were terrified by "hideous cries of fiends in the night".
 
Sorry,  Sorry.  I know.
 
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Can't think of anything much to say about the new Theriz, except it's a bit too big to fly itself.  However, the wrist structure of therizino..s is "obviously" ex-flying.  I am very worried by the idea of a backward pointing pubis evolving pre-Archaeopteryx - which was exhibited in (certain?) late K segnos/therizi...s.  If V11579 had a backward-pointing pubis, this would mean . . . b-p.p's evolved twice in flying forms - once for theriz's, and once for uncinants.  And if V11579 flew, or had flying ancestors, it, they and it's Jurassic descendents were very shy.  OR - maybe segnos/theriz..s, about which we know so little, were polyphyletic in some way . . . or maybe V11579 isn't a segnosaur ? ? ?  Hmm.  There'll be tears before bedtime on this one.
 
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Some list members may be interested to know that Mickey Rowe the list handler, knows a way of subscribing to the list and being able to send messages to it, without getting any messages as mail, allowing you to browse the archives at leisure (albeit a day or two late).  If you can read this, I've got the system working for me.
 
JJ