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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):
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.