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New bird evolution papers (Acta Zoologica Sinica)



Two new articles in Acta Zoologica Sinica:

Sereno, P.C. (2004). Birds as dinosaurs. Acta Zoologica Sinica 50(6): 991-1001.

ABSTRACT: The "great debate" over bird origins may never have transpired had the now-famous furcula-bearing, feathered dinosaurs from Asia surfaced when the beds in which they were interred were first discovered in the 1920s. Compelling fossil evidence is now to hand that places birds as a specialized Glade within theropod dinosaurs. Major insights include a more seamless fossil record linking birds and non-avian dinosaurs, clear evidence of an early pre-avian origin for feathers and other features previously known only among birds, together with an underscoring of the importance of miniaturization for the evolution of powered flight and a broadening of the functional scenarios for how powered bird flight was first achieved.

And you just have to admire the guy's perseverence...

Martin, L.D. (2004). A basal archosaurian origin for birds. Acta Zoologica Sinica 50(6): 978-990.

ABSTRACT: The controversy over the origin of birds may have been resolved through the discovery of new and remarkable fossils from the Triassic of Central Asia and the Early Cretacous of China. Flight probably originated in small, quadrupedal gliding archosaurs in the Triassic. Feathers originated for gliding rather than for insulation. The "maniraptoran dinosaurs" are actually derived from birds with at least gliding capabilities and primary feathers on the hands.



Tim