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RE: Feathered Dragons: Studies on the Transition from Dinosaurs to Birds
the absence of diplodocids there is no more proof of endemism of Late
Jurassic Chinese taxa than the presence of dicraeosaurids and absence of
camarasaurids in the Tendaguru is of endemism of Late Jurassic Tanzanian
Excuse my nit-picking, but I remember reading that the Tendaguru sauropod
_Janenschia_ might actually be a camarasaurid.
Chatterjee and Templin, 2004. Feathered coelurosaurs from China: New light
on the arboreal origin of avian flight.
Someone needs to tell the authors Sinosauropteryx has a posteriorly facing
glenoid, and could not extend its arms high over its back. I also have a
hard time seeing it and Caudipteryx as arboreal, given their short arms,
unreversed halluces, straight unguals, etc..
_Caudipteryx_ looks about as comfortable sitting on a tree branch as an emu.
I'm all for putting _Microraptor_ and _Archaeopteryx_ up in the trees -
but not every darned feathered coelurosaur belongs there!
Wellnhofer, 2004. The plumage of Archaeopteryx: Feathers of a dinosaur?
[snip] >He brings
up the feathers on Sinosauropteryx and Sinornithosaurus (though apparently
not noticing NGMC 91 has stage 3 feathers), and says "unless we take these
dinosaurs as living fossils of their time [because they preserve feathers
but lived later than Archaeopteryx], it is equally possible to assume that
integumentary filaments may have evolved independently and convergently in
a variety of reptilian groups not closely related to each other."
I'll never EVER understand why some authors are so keen to treat feathers as
a special character, requiring a whole new set of evolutionary rules!
Wellnhofer ends with the supposed impossibility of drawing a boundary
between reptile and bird, that cladistics doesn't solve the problem, etc..
*sigh* Again, the what-is-a-bird issue appears to wrapped up in so much
emotional and sentimental nonsense. It is true that cladistics doesn't
solve the problem - it bypasses it altogether, and rejects the typological
baggage that dogged evolutionary biology for most of the twentieth century.
Bakker and Bir, 2004. Dinosaur crime scene investigations: Theropod
behavior at Como Bluff, Wyoming, and the evolution of birdness. 301-342.
Sounds like it could be an interesting article. Is it?
Thanks for the summary, Mickey. Is the book worth buying, in your opinion?
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