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Re: Viva Neornithine Birds!

----- Original Message ----- From: "john bois" <jbois@verizon.net>
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2007 1:49 PM

With only one bird species surviving we _cannot_ invoke
pre-boundary competition/predation.  With more--and all
of them neornithines--this possibility remains open.

Well, with one, we could still invoke that. It would just become less probable.

The extinctions may have been less severe in areas
that neornithines were dominant.

Possible, though improbable. Anyone willing to finance me a really large-style expedition to Antarctica?

> How similar are they really?

Great question. Wish I knew.

Well. Apart from molecular divergence dates, there's no evidence yet for Mesozoic arboreal neornithines, is there? If it stays that way, we have a starting point (and only need to explain *Lectavis* and *Yungavolucris* away anymore...).

How similar were _non-avian_ dinosaurs to
each other?  Similar enough, apparently.

Well, too big to hide, ultimately dependent on green plant parts...

BTW, do you know of a reference that compares likely
functionality of the respective clades?

No, and I don't think any exists. The enantiornithine fossil record is still very, very, very, very bad.

If we don't count *Rahonavis*, the alvarezsaurs, and the almost undescribed *Yandangornis*, aren't *Patagopteryx* and *Vegavis* the only halfway complete bird skeletons from the Late Cretaceous? Is there a reasonably complete *Gobipteryx*?