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Re: THEROPODS AS A 'BIRD FACTORY'
Agreed one hundred percent with this message... next step is to officially
recognize "Class Dinosauria"... what are the academics waiting for?
>Tom Holtz, this one's for you.
>Just came from the library with Sereno et al.'s _Suchomimus_ paper, as
>well as our very own Dr. Holtz's perspectie article: _Spinosaurs as
>Crocodile Mimics_. Both are excellent, however this post only pertains
>to Dr. Holtz's article. Within, Dr. Holtz states something that is
>"Theropod dinosaurs (bipedal, primarily carniviorous forms) have
>received widespread attention in recent years owing to their importance
>in understanding the origin of birds. However, the evolution of
>theropods was more than a "bird factory": Indeed, these dinosaurs
>represent one of the most successful radiations of terrestrial predators
>in Earth history." Holtz, 1998; 1276.
>Amen! Though I cannot say that my interest in theropods, or even
>dinosaurs, extends far past the various birdlike forms as well as my
>scientific love, class Aves, I must agree totally with the point that
>attention should be given to Theropoda not just for their significance
>in the origin of birds, but for their remarkable success and evolution.
>Though I am being perhaps overly hypocritical, my own fascination with
>theropods is that of the 'bird factory' mentality, I cannot deny that
>the amount of scientific inquiry concerning non-avian or even
>non-maniraptorifom theropods is not as high as the time given to
>classifying Sauropterygia (a personal interest to me), deciphering the
>early history of land plants, or even debunking or proving the notions
>of the Sasquatch and Yeti. Yes, there have been many important works on
>non-avian theropodian history, anatomy, evolution, systematics, and even
>life history, but these works are far less than other scientific works
>of the type aforementioned above. I do not want to say that we should
>shift our focus on theropods from the origin of birds to other themes,
>just that perhaps a little bit more attention shoud be given to their
>other aspects. This does not count just for theropods, but for
>sauropodomorphs and ornithischians (Pete Buchholz, you can cheer now).
>Maybe I am misrepresenting the state of the study of theropods other
>than their relevance in the origin of birds, but when you make a list of
>the most frequently referred to theropod studies, or even the most
>important and controversial, you will find there is a bit of a bias the
>closer you get to the avian tree.
>"...reinforce the idea that there is much more to theropod history than
>the beginnings of avian flight." Holtz, 1998; 1277.
>Yes, we seem to have forgotten the other ascepts of theropod study in
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