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Dan Varner wrote:
Here's an article with a restoration. DV :
In overall appearance, _Tiktaalik_ looks like what would happen if a
crocodile mated with a newt. (Such unions are forbidden in the U.S., but
they might be permitted in Canada.)
The last paragraph in the article by Daeschler et al. (2006; p.762) begins
"Major elements of the tetrapod body plan originated as a succession of
intermediate morphologies that evolved mosaically and in parallel among
sarcopterygians closely related to tetrapods, allowing them to exploit
diverse habitats in the Devonian."
Replace "tetrapod", "sarcopterygian", and "Devonian" with "bird",
"theropod", and "Jurassic/ Cretaceous", and I think you have the story of
basal avian evolution in a nutshell.
P.S. On a totally different note, and to answer a few very funny off-list
queries regarding a previous (and silly) message of mine. When I wrote...
When I saw "Western Desert" and "God-like" in the same sentence, I just
assumed the story was about Dick Cheney."
...I was not actually saying that I thought Mr Dick Cheney was "God-like".
Perish the thought. In fact, when I think of the current veep, such
comparisons don't usually spring to mind. (Greater chance of comparisons to
the "other guy", perhaps. :-) )