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> From the article, it looks their beef is with the
> parting, not so much the "theropod dinosaurs" part.
No, the "theropod dinosaurs" part gets dumped on too:
"...the newest PNAS research, Ruben said, are actually much more consistent
with a different premise - that birds may have had an ancient common ancestor
with dinosaurs, but they evolved separately on their own path..."
And I love this quote (from the article):
"This model was not consistent with successful flight from the ground up, and
that makes it pretty difficult to make a case for a ground-dwelling theropod
dinosaur to have developed wings and flown away," Ruben said.
For some reason (as decreed by Ruben &c) evolution of flight must be either
"ground-up" or "trees-down"; it could not incorporate both behaviors. I've
never believed in this "ground-up"-versus-"trees-down" dichotomy. Why not?
Because it's bullsh*t.
Many birds spend time on the ground, and spend time in trees as well. In fact,
such an ecology is quite common among extant bird species. But for reasons
that make no sense at all, some people (see above) claim that such an ecology
is strictly prohibited for non-avian theropods. They were either tree-dwelling
gliders, or ground-dwelling cursors, but never both. Like I said: Bullsh*t.
And on it goes...
"On the other hand, it would have been quite possible for birds to have evolved
and then, at some point, have various species lose their flight capabilities
and become ground-dwelling, flightless animals - the raptors. This may be
hugely upsetting to a lot of people, but it makes perfect sense."
Oooohhh... as toey as a Roman sandal.
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