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Re: Dromies, birds - and Protoavis question



You can see a color two page spread of Chatterjee's _Protoavis_ bones in Carl
Zimmer's article, "Ruffled Feathers," _Discover_ magazine, May 1992, pp. 44-45.
The article spans pp. 44-54.  The bold purple subtitle states: "A paleontologist
going after the earliest bird may have ended up with a mouthful of worms."

You can also see a more distant view of the bones in the article, "The Lonely
Bird: Claims of the earliest avian fossil launch a paleontologic flap," by
Richard Monastersky, _Science News_, Volume 140, August 17, 1991, pp.104-105.

Strangely enough, Chatterjee's book, _The Rise of Birds_, is loaded with what I
might call "optimistic" illustrations of _Protoavis_, but no photographs of the
actual specimen.  It may have been an amazing little animal, but the specimen
has been characterized by critics as scrappy, poorly preserved, and perhaps
chimerical.  More _Protoavis_ fossils would need to be discovered and studied
before paleontologists would be able to reach a consensus on the status of this
specimen and its relationship to birds.

-- Ralph W. Miller III   ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu