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Re: fossil bird books



1) Feduccia, A., 1999 - 'The origin and evolution of birds'
Probably one of the most comprehensive in number of fossil  bird species
covered, it includes lots of the more 'modern' birds often ignored in other
publications as they have little bearing on the origin birds, but do map
out the diversity of this group through time. Best to regard this as being
focused on fossil birds, and 'bird origins' only forming a part of the
book. I think I've read this is how the author prefers to view it. HOWEVER,
the author is controversial (see other entries under on this email list) in
that he upholds the view that birds did not arise from dinosaurs, but some
other earlier archosaur, and suggests it is would have been arboreal
quadruped.

Unfortunately, the Cenozoic bird data included is just as outdated and phylogenetically unsupported as the BAND section is. Though I don't own the book, I recall it supports such things as...
- polyphyletic ratites, each derived from various neognaths.
- Anseriformes and Phoenicopteriformes being sister taxa.
- Presbyornis being at the base of the above assemblage.
- Psittaciformes being derived from columbiformes.
While there's no better book on Cenozoic birds out there, I'd suggest just getting a lot of Mayr, Dyke and Livezey papers instead. :)


Mickey Mortimer