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Re: New Cretaceous bird fills fossil gap

At 2:09 AM -0700 6/16/06, Jaime A. Headden wrote:
>Dann Pigdon (dannj@alphalink.com.au) wrote:
><Yet another sweeping statement prompted by a single fossil?>
>  From a host of different groups of ornithureans that showed that modern birds
>derived from serially nesting groups of aquatic avians. The new fossils of
>*Gansus* (providing in _three_ more specimens -- plus the type pes -- nearly
>all of the skeleton sans neck and head) allows a more concrete placement of the
>taxon relative to other taxa, and support of the cladistic relationship of it
>overall and the placement of the extant avian lineage from such birds, all
>aquatic. The press releases using terms like "waterfowl" seems improper as the
>term is used ornithologically for anseriforms, if I am not mistaken.

Gansus is definitely NOT "waterfowl". It comes out between Hesperornis and 
Ichthyornis, so the skull likely had teeth. 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jhecht.net
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760