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Re: Evidence For a Feathered Velociraptor...



On 9/22/07, Paula Goodman <paulawilder@mac.com> wrote:
> That's something I was wondering too --- like could the ratites be more
> closely related to secondarily flightless dinosaurs... than to a bird
> that had lost (or re-lost?)  flight later.

This has been pretty adequately studied. Ratites are much closer to
other modern birds (especially tinamous) than to extinct flightless
lineages such as _Deinonychosauria_. They share a number of
apomorphies with other modern birds that are not seen in
_Deinonychosauria_, many of which are also not seen in
_Confuciusornithidae_, _Enantiornithes_, _Hesperornithes_,
_Ichthyornithidae_, etc. (each one being closer to crown group avians
than the one before it).

In other words, it is extremely, extremely unlikely that crown group
_Aves_ includes deinonychosaurs.

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T. Michael Keesey
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