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Quizzed by Tom Holtz, John Jackson writes...
> Modern insects and birds are not a good analogy for this reason:
> early flightless dino/birds went from one form to another and then
> back to the earlier one:
> flightless -> flying -> flightless
> modern flightless birds and insects effectively just do this:
> flying -> flightless
How do you know this? There are numerous extant clades with closely
related volant and non-volant taxa, and even SPECIES where some
inviduals are volant and others are not. It is entirely possible,
theoretically of course, for some extant volant taxa to have had a
non-volant ancestor. Modern insects and birds are therefore entirely
appropriate analogues for Jurassic-Cretaceous theropods.
"The essence of science is that theories and models must be tested,
rigorously" (Shipman 1998)