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Re: Merits Of Feduccias "Origin and Evolution of Birds"
>>While I know
Feduccias argues for non-dinosaurian bird ancestry, which has holes big
enough to fly a F-16 through, how good a
text is it as far as more advanced neornithean birds? <<
Even though the first couple chapters are pretty weird, I heartily
recommend Feduccia's bird book. He has photographs of skeletons,
skeletal reconstructions, and very thorough and understandable analysis
of the various species he discusses---ecological as well as
physiological. Also, the second half of the book, which discusses
Tertiary birds, is really fantastic.
Not many books about Mesozoic birds exist (and believe me, I've
looked). The only other two I know about (ie own) are Chatterjee's The
Rise of Birds (useful, but not as up-to-date as Feduccia's book, and
less thorough), and the Picture Book of Chinese Fossil Birds (very
little text and life reconstructions of doubtable accuracy, but
priceless for the skeletal reconstructions, which can be found nowhere
else) which can be ordered from the scichina website.
All in all, I recommend the Feduccia book over the other two. He may be
seriously mistaken in his evolutionary theory, but he's a very good