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Re: Some thoughts on AVES



On Thu, 1 Nov 2001, Robert G. Tuck Jr. wrote:

> > Evolution occurs through the accumulation of minute changes, not the
> sudden appearance of radical changes
>
> Gould and company might take issue with this statement. Personally, I await
> more data and take no sides in the matter.

Well, it depends on your use of "sudden".

My point was that one individual organism is not going to give rise to
another individual organism so different that it warrants placement in a
new "Class" or "Order" or whatever. (Indeed, if it did, that would be
quite a lonely organism....)

Evolution *is* the accumulation of minute changes. These minute changes do
not always accumulate at the same *rate*, but they are minute nonetheless.

Every "hallmark" feature of modern birds developed in tiny steps from
previous features. A basal theropod couple did not watch, perplexed, as an
_Archaeopteryx_ hatched from one of their eggs and boldly proclaimed
itself founder of a new Class.

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