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Oh, I call them feathers all right. Caudipteryx is a bird
Ah yes. Feduccia's First Law of ABSRD. "If it has feathers, then it must
be a bird".
, and so are most of
the other Lainoing "theropods."
I agree with this. _Confuciusornis_, _Changchengornis_, _Protopteryx_,
_Sinornis_, _Boluochia_, _Liaoningornis_ and the rest of their feathered
friends of Liaoning are all birds. As such, they are also theropods.
_Sinornithosaurus_, _Sinosauropteryx_, _Beipiaosaurus_, and _Microraptor_ ,
all of which show plumule-like integumentary structures, are most probably
not birds. However, _Microraptor_ and _Sinornithosaurus_ are probably very
close to the origin of birds. _Microraptor_ may even have been arboreal -
despite Feduccia's Second Law of ABSRD: "Birds evolved in trees, so birds
cannot have evolved from dinosaurs which all lived on the ground."
As for _Protarchaeopteryx_, I'm not sure if its avian or not - could swing
either way. _Caudipteryx_, though, appears to be an oviraptorosaur so,
based on all cladistic analyses (except for Elzanowski's), _Caudipteryx_ is
a nonavian theropod.
Carnotaurus has crocodille-like skin, it's one of the few theropods who's
skin we've got. That's a major clue that it's not related to birds.
_Carnotaurus_ is related to birds insofar as it is a theropod.
A crocodile is related to birds insofar as it is a archosaur.
Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion is related to birds insofar as he is a
_Carnotaurus_ is an abelisaur, and so less closely related to the origin of
birds than dromaeosaurids and troodontids. I'm not troubled by the fact
that its skin is scaly and crocodile-like, since I never claimed that birds
evolved from abelisaurs.
Timothy J. Williams
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014
Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax: 515 294 3163
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