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Re: Confuciusornis and other feathered beasts

<<I note that "The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs" refers to Confuciusornis as a 'toothless bird'. In other places, I read that it is a feathered dinosaur (I assume this means non-avian dinosaur). Could someone tell me if Confuciusornis (as well as Caudipteryx and Protoarchaeopteryx) are considered "non-avian feathered dinosaurs" by dinosaur paleontologists. I'm assuming Sinosauropteryx is unequivocally a non-avian dinosaur with some kind of feathers. Right?>>

If your references refer to _Confuciusornis_ as a feathered *non*-avian dinosaur they are wrong. It is redundant of course to call _C._ a feathered avian dinosaur. _C._ and kin are very basal birds, not far off from _Archaeopteryx_.

_Caudipteryx_ was described as the closest sister-group to birds themselves, but now recent works suggest that it is a oviraptorosaurian related to _Oviraptor_ and other things along those lines.

_Protarchaeopteryx_ (note spelling) was described as the sister-group to dromaeosaurids (I believe specifically velociraptorines, I don't have the paper handy) and this has changed greatly.

_Sinosauropteryx_ is unequivocally a non-avian dinosaurs related to _Compsognathus_. As for its feathers...uh... just say that they are regardless of what some may say (I myself hesitate to call them feathers just now although I do not buy the collagen fiber interpretation for a second).

Matt Troutman

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