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RE: New Cretaceous bird and other papers



> :-) I'll try -- I'll just question the reliability of molecular clock
> estimates that cross the times of mass extinctions. Also, when you take
the
>lower end of the range, you might end up with Accipitridae and Falconidae
>separating just after the K-T -- as part of the Paleocene neornithine
>radiation.

Doesn't it feel like you're really *trying* to stretch things out? I wonder
why people who eagerly (and correctly) accept the presence of Middle
Jurassic dromaeosaurs and troodonts based on teeth are so unwilling to
accept the presence of modern families of birds in the late K based on both
fossils AND molecular evidence. Falconiformes were present as fossils in the
Paleocene. The distance between Liaonang and the Middle Jurassic is like 30
million years... that's almost half of the entire Cenozoic! Why is it then
so hard to accept the existence of Falconidae or Accipitridae less than 10
million years before we find their fossils, especially when molecular
evidence says they should have been there?

>Well, who knows. Let's find a fossils.

Right, like with the parrot which nobody wants to believe, but which
*everyone* identified as a parrot before Tom Stidham told them how old the
damn thing was. It has diagnostic characters, just like the troodont teeth
in the Jurassic do. And it's right where the molecular analyses say it
should be, just like our phylogenetic analyses say there should be troodonts
in the Middle Jurassic.

Are we going to have to discover complete skeletons of every species before
people will accept that the diversification of most bird "orders" took place
BEFORE the K/T rather than after? Why isn't a diagnostic beak enough for a
parrot when diagnostic teeth are enough for deinonychosaurs?

Mike D.