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Re: Cretaceous Duck Ruffles Feathers



John Bois wrote-


> BBC story includes Alan Feduccia's comments.
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4187287.stm

"This is a well known specimen which has been kicking around since 1992, and
it was originally described as belonging to an extinct group. And now all of
a sudden it's a modern duck."

Wrong.  It was originally claimed to be a presbyornithid, but is now in an
unresolved trichotomy with presbyornithids and anatids.  Thus, it's position
has only been made less precise, not changed to 'modern duck'.  Seems
Feduccia can't even get his neornithine facts straight.

"The analysis is based on very superficial features of bones, so I find it
unreliable."

Feduccia would _never_ classify taxa based on superficial features... no
siree...

"But these people don't believe whatever caused the mass extinction had any
affect on the birds, and that seems ludicrous."

Wow.  Did Feduccia even read the paper?  Where do Clarke et al. say the KT
event had no affect on birds?  Or even neornithines?

Mickey Mortimer
Undergraduate, Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
The Theropod Database - http://students.washington.edu/eoraptor/Home.html