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Re: More on Argentavis



----- Original Message -----
From: "evelyn sobielski" <koreke77@yahoo.de>
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 5:29 AM

Also, fossil evidence beats
inference from any kind of data hands-down. It's rare
that a fossil say "ain't so", but if it does, that's
that.

The problem here is the lack of fossils. There are no known Paleogene ratites except for rheas (*Diogenornis*, Paleocene) and a few flightless birds from the Eocene of Europe, at least some of which could be ostriches (notably *Palaeotis*).


Incidentally, if at least *Palaeotis* is an ostrich, it probably fits the proposal by Cooper et al. (2001) that the ostriches evolved in India in the Paleocene, then reached Laurasia at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, and then entered Africa around the Oligocene-Miocene boundary. However, this still doesn't justify the calibration point Cooper et al. used, as long as it remains possible that the ostriches lost their flight ability only in India or even later.