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That's what happens when you are flush with the wonderfulness of
I indeed intended to say that the nail was in the coffin of the non-dino
theory of brid origins. The new beasts are incredibly strong evidence for
birds as theropod dinosaurs. Just wanted to pick them up and take them
home (NMNH is home here), which I told Phil at the press conference.
By the way, Phil has gotten very facile at holding court at press
briefings. He was very informative and articulate, which I've come to
expect from him at scientific meetings. Things can go mushy in more
open discussions, but Phil was great with the press and did credit to our
field. Mark did quite well as well, discussing the phylogenetic analysis.
Ji Qiang made a strong plea against purchasing Chinese fossils that
were illegally exported and argued for a Upper Jurassic age for the
outcrops. Dodson and coworkers have argued for a much younger age.
I will leave it to others to discuss the strengths of their arguments.
I will go to the exhibit when I return from Connecticut for a week's
vacation. if others go, please let us know what the other three
specimens are. I believe at least one is Sinosauropteryx, but don't know
what the other two are.