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Re: Study: Platypus Retains Bird Sex Link



Dora Smith wrote:
 Birds belong to one of
the major branches of dinosaurs, and they are highly evolved relative to
their feathered cousins.

I didn't mean to sound like I was slamming you there Dora. I was just curious what you meant when you said that birds are "highly evolved relative to their feathered cousins."


One of the achievements of recent paleontological research is that we now realize that the gulf between reptiles (particularly dinosaurs) and birds is largely subjective and emotive, and not grounded in any phylogenetic or evolutionary concept. There is not a whole lot of difference between birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs (e.g., _Microraptor_, _Caudipteryx_, even tyrannosaurids). Thus to call birds "highly evolved" and dinosaurs "primitive" relative to birds requires some clarification regarding what is exactly meant by "highly evolved" and "primitive".



Tim

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