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RE: another dumb question: Terror Birds are not dinosaurs?

--- Paula Goodman <paulawilder@mac.com> schrieb:

> With all this talk about birds-are-dinosaurs, I'm
> curious to know what, 
> if anything, distinguishes the bird status of
> Phorusrhacidae from that 
> of the recently discovered Gigantoraptor, for
> example. Why do we call 
> one a big bird fossil, and the other a dinosaur
> fossil?

Some would say that both are birds (a non-scientific
term without a rigorous definition), but there is
onely one fringe model which would class both as Aves.

Terror birds are thus: Birds, Aves, dinosaurs.
Gigantoraptor was a dinosaur.

They probably didn't taste like chicken, due to their
carnivorous habits.

And: they might not be Gruiformes (cranes and rails
and some others). Hasn't been analyzed yet, but the
groups of birds unequivocally accepted as Gruiformes
nowadays all originated in Laurasia IIRC, that is
Eurasia + North America. Terror birds evolved in South
America, which at their time was still separate. Not
as far as to preclude a gruiform relationship, but far
enough to make it disputable. Presumed European
relatives have been moved out of the group. Thus,
their relationships need restudy, this aspiring
student of all things avian say.



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