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Re: "Feathery fossil shows birds aren't dinosaurs"



In a message dated 6/24/00 1:14:25 PM EST, jeffmartz@earthlink.net writes:

<< That is like arguing that mosasaurs and other marine reptiles must have
 always been aquatic.  After all, if the earliest tetrapods were aquatic, and
 mosasaurs were aquatic, what do we need terrestrial lizard intermediaries
 for? >>

The point here is that there is absolutely no evidence that archosaurs 
evolved from small ground-dwellers to large ground-dwellers to small arboreal 
birds. In the absence of such evidence, it is more reasonable and 
parsimonious to argue that archosaurs included small arboreal forms that 
remained small and arboreal as they evolved into birds. With mosasaurs and 
such, there is a huge fossil record of terrestrial intermediates between the 
early amphibians and the mosasaurs, so you cannot reasonably argue for the 
existence of a completely amphibious lineage between them. (Although Huene 
once proposed that ichthyosaurs >were< amphibians, with no terrestrial 
intermediates.)