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Re: "Dinosaurs Died Within Hours After Asteroid Hit Earth..."
Dora Smith wrote-
> I actually wonder, given the evidence that the ancestors of modern birds
> diversified genetically in the early Cretaceous at the latest, if their
> nearest common ancestor belonged to group Aves? My research on
> finds considerable convergent evolution among coelurosaurian dinosaurs.
> am also finding incredible trouble deciding which feathered critters of
> Cretaceous were birds.
By definition yes, the most recent common ancestor of modern birds was a
member of Aves, following any reasonable phylogeny. This holds for Gauthier
and de Queiroz's definition (Struthio maximus + Tinamus major + Vultur
gryphus) or Chiappe's (Archaeopteryx lithographica + Vultur gryphus).
"Bird" can be defined basically any way you want. I equate it with Aves,
but Microraptor's about as birdy as Archaeopteryx, so including all
eumaniraptorans doesn't seem too odd.