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ECHINODON & BBC HORIZON



Re: the granicones traditionally referred to the heterodontosaur 
_Echinodon_, Tim wrote...

> Gila Monsters in Early Cretaceous England, huh?

Well, hold on everyone, this is not the end of the story. The 
helodermatid ID is in doubt - I can say no more at this time. Sorry: 
standard Holtz response (SHR from hereon) 'Wait for the paper'.

And, as expected (and as most of you will have heard on vrtpaleo), the 
BBC effort was less than excellent (to put it politely). Funny that 
Czerkas wasn't interviewed, no mention of the name _Microraptor_, 
no mention of any of the abundant evidence for the dinosaurian nature 
of birds, and the continual implication that _Archaeoraptor_ 'fooled 
the world', or 'fooled the palaeontologists'. Some of you may recall the 
moment at SVP Denver when that famous issue of Nat. Geo. arrived - 
within a few minutes all experienced observers were saying that the 
specimen was a composite. In fact I mentioned this to Czerkas at the 
meeting (he disagreed). 

To their credit though, the BBC did end the programme by saying that 
the dinosaur-bird link was quite firm, and they only featured brief 
interview snippets with Larry Martin (he repeated his favourite, oft-
used old chesnut 'It's like saying that we're related because my big toe 
looks a bit like your nose'. Whatever). Martin also said that all bird 
workers agreed with him that birds could not be descended from 
dinosaurs. Oh really? Silly me, I must stop reading the technical 
ornithological literature.


Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 023 92846045                   
PO1 3QL                                www.palaeobiology.co.uk