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Re: New MANIAC book is out!
This is rather weird. Doesn't the use of the phrase "dinosaur-like
birds and birdlike dinosaurs during the Mesozoic" rather imply that
the author agrees that the two "morphs" shade into one another? In
other words, that that the evidence says they are indeed related?
On 19 February 2010 11:09, David Marjanovic <email@example.com> wrote:
> MANIAC famously means "Maniraptorans Are Not In Actuality Coelurosaurs", and
> that's what this new book seems to say:
> David Burnham (2 February 2010): Maniraptoran "Dinosaurs": Paleoenvironment,
> Paleoecology, and Evolution. VDM ( = Verlag Dr. Müller). Paperback, 128 pp.
> Yes, scare quotes in the title. Yes, a German publisher.
> The "short description" by amazon.de, which is probably the blurb supplied
> by the author:
> Maniraptora includes the first known bird, Archaeopteryx, the small,
> four-winged, feathered glider, Microraptor, and the terrestrial runner
> Bambiraptor. All are considered important links in the origin of flight and
> a subsequent transition to terrestriality. In cladistic classifications,
> dromaeosaurid ?dinosaurs? were only considered terrestrial cursors. The
> discovery of a gliding stage within the dromaeosaurs confounds the currently
> suggested evolutionary framework and lacks predictability for origin of
> flight scenarios. Paleoclimate was a significant factor for evolution of
> dinosaur-like birds and birdlike dinosaurs during the Mesozoic. This time is
> characterized by faunal and floral changes reflecting the cooling trend at
> end of the Cretaceous. The environment opened up making it difficult for
> poor fliers and gliders as forested areas became less dense. Secondarily
> flightless terrestrial forms and birds with full flight capabilities
> survived best in these new environments. Eventually, birds of modern aspect
> probably replaced the primitive maniraptorans since they were more efficient
> fliers and had evolved higher metabolic rates suitable for the cooler
> The question marks around "dinosaurs" are in the original and must have been
> formatted scare quotes. Lack of italics also in the original.
> Looks fractally wrong to me. Cooling trend? The evidence for polar ice is
> from the Aptian and Albian, isn't it? There's none from the Campanian or
> Maastrichtian, AFAIK.