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Feduccia et al: No Evidence Fossil Feathers Are Really Feathers

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051010085411.htm or http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct05/feducci100705.htm

 Oct. 10, 2005 -- No. 477

Latest study: scientists say no evidence exists
that therapod dinosaurs evolved into birds

UNC News Services

CHAPEL HILL -- No good evidence exists that fossilized structures found in China and which some paleontologists claim are the earliest known rudimentary feathers were really feathers at all, a renowned ornithologist says. Instead, the fossilized patterns appear to be bits of decomposed skin and supporting tissues that just happen to resemble feathers to a modest degree.

Led by Dr. Alan Feduccia of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a team of scientists says that as a result of their new research and other studies, continuing, exaggerated controversies over "feathered dinosaurs" make no sense.

"We all agree that birds and dinosaurs had some reptilian ancestors in common," said Feduccia, professor of biology in UNCs College of Arts and Sciences. "But to say dinosaurs were the ancestors of the modern birds we see flying around outside today because we would like them to be is a big mistake.