[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Feduccia in _PNAS_
Technically, the first dinosaur paper of the new year; congrats, Alan.
Feduccia, A. 2006. Mesozoic aviary takes form. _Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia_ 103(1):5-6.
(Published online before print December 27, 2005,
"When I attempted a modern synthesis of avian evolution in 1980
(1), I told the then science editor at Harvard University Press
that I thought the information on avian evolution was coming in
so sluggishly that there would be little need for a quick
revision. Was I ever wrong! By the early 1980s, the revelation
of the presence of volant paleognaths in the Northern
hemisphere Paleogene (2) provided compelling evidence that
ratites were not ancient passengers on drifting continents, but
the product of a post-Cretaceous/Tertiary radiation from
ancestors that for the most part flew to their respective
continents. In the same year, an initially muted epiphany
appeared with the dramatic discovery by Cyril Walker (3) of the
existence of a completely unknown subclass of Mesozoic birds,
which he called the enantiornithines, or opposite birds,
so-called because the fusion of their tarsal elements was the
opposite of that of ornithurine (modern-type) birds; they also
possess a distinctive arrangement of the bones of the shoulder
girdle and a unique sternum. The story of Mesozoic birds became
complicated by the discovery in 1985, by Russian colleague
Evgeny Kurochkin (4), of *Ambiortus*, a Lower Cretaceous
archaic but modern-type ornithurine (carinate) bird with an
advanced flight apparatus. However, Walker's discovery was
followed by the discovery of additional enantiornithine or
opposite birds from the Lower Cretaceous of Spain (5)."
This is how it begins, but I have not the access to retrieve the rest. As a
commentary, it technically lacks an abstract.
Jaime A. Headden
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
Yahoo! DSL ? Something to write home about.
Just $16.99/mo. or less.