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Re: PTEROSAURS, PROTOBIRDS, AND CONVERGENCE



Ronald I. Orenstein wrote
>I am not saying Feduccia is not a good scientist - he is, and has added
>immeasurably to avian paleontology.  But on this issue I think he has lost
>perspective (read the downright vituperative language in The Origin of
>Birds when he discusses any alternate point of view), and, I think, is
>misusing the concept of convergence to cling to his own ideas despite the
>mounting mass of evidence casting them into doubt.

When I encountered that language, I decided I didn't want to review the
book for New Scientist. I didn't consider it appropriate. I think Larry
Martin has played a constructive role in the debate by asking tough
questions and posing alternative possibilities. I wish Feduccia had taken
more of Martin's tone; I  think he could have added considerably to the
debate over avian origins. There's also tremendous work needed on early
avian evolution, to sort the feathered dinosaurs from the flightless birds,
for example. -- Jeff Hecht