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Re: birds and/or/with dino's
OF COURSE! Before I had really ever begun to read much about
dinosaurs and ancient life in earnest as a child, I recognized that
bird feet and theropod feet were no coincidence. BUT to the common
masses (of which ah'm) when one says "dinosaur" they are speaking
about the classic perception of them - instead of the "non-avian
dinosaur" terminology of today. Sometimes, it makes it difficult to
ask questions due to getting answers involving modern birds.
What should really have been done would have been to abandon the word
Dinosauria and to make up a new term for the entire clade, birds
included. But it's too late for that.
As for the length of
the tail being used as the cut-off line, while noting the
transitional forms, I'd say just use what is normal for today's birds
- short 'n' stubby.
Then look at *Sinornis*, *Confuciusornis*, *Sapeornis* and think again.
Then look at juvenile enantiornitheans and juvenile *Confuciusornis* and
think once more...
I'm not saying it's impossible (Avebrevicauda got a definition in
Dinosaurs of the Air after all), but it's not trivial.