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Re: CNN:dino-birds are not father of birds

For the record I tend to agree with the subject line, however...

Betty Cunningham wrote:
> Scientists: Dinosaur-Birds Are Not Father of Birds (2)
> Xinhua      27-FEB-99


> However, Hou rejected the theory of a direct connection between
> dinosaur-birds and modern birds.
> "The two short-armed specimens have saw-like teeth that were flat and
> sharp, with deep bulbous roots, unlike the modern bird's conical shape,"
> Hou said.

Surely other theropods with conical, unserrated teeth (such as
spinosaurs) were themselves descended from serrated blade-toothed
ancestors? I'm not saying that there is a direct line of descent from
these "dino-birds" to modern avians, but I'd have thought that teeth
could change (or be lost) fairly quickly, depending on changes in
diet. Are teeth really such a good indicator of ancestor/descendant
relationships, especially over extremely long time spans? 

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: