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re: Asilisaurus kongwe, the Oldest Avian-line Archosaur and the Early Diversification of Ornithodira
> Any dino precursor with leaf-shaped teeth, a beak-like
> lower jaw and a quadrupedal stance has three strikes against
> candidacy for the avian lineage. These all denote offshoot
> characters from the recurved tooth, non-beak-like lower jaw,
> bipedal ancestor of birds and silesaurids
Well, note the qualifier "archosaur". It is as was already suspected - the
wording is awkward, but they merely meant "avian" as in "not crocodilian".
It is as if you would call a hagfish fossil "human-line chordate". Which it
would be - it would not be a human-line *craniate*, but it would not be a
tunicate, salp etc. either.
They might have called it "the earliest known archosaur that is closer to birds
than to crocs", but that might not have been high enough on the High-Impact
Journal Scale of Sensationalist Sellability.
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