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Something Old, Something New...

Hi All -

        A couple new papers have recently come to my attention:

Wagner, G.P. and Gauthier, J.  1999.  1,2,3 = 2,3,4:  a solution to the
problem of the homology of the digits in the avian hand.  _Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences_ 96(9):  5111-5116.

        Those of you at the last SVP meeting will doubtlessly remember
Gauthier's talk on the idea of a frame shift during embryogenesis somewhere
between near-avian theropods and actual avian theropods that could explain
the apparent dichotomy between paleontological and
neontological/embryological evidence for the identities of both theropod
and bird hands...although I haven't seen the whole paper yet, this seems to
be it.  You can see the abstract on-line via   http://www.pnas.org .

Also in that same issue, a rebuttal:

Feduccia, A.  1999.  1,2,3 = 2,3,4:  accomodating the cladogram.  
  _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_ 96(9): 4740-4742.

This one I have seen, and while I don't agree with a lot of what Feduccia
says in this article (and he's a tad harsher than I would have been), I do
agree with him that the issue isn't settled (about the digital homologies,
that is).

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                     Jerry D. Harris
                 Fossil Preparation Lab
          New Mexico Museum of Natural History
                   1801 Mountain Rd NW
               Albuquerque  NM  87104-1375
                 Phone:  (505) 841-2809
                  Fax:  (505) 841-2866