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Problems with paedomorphic bird skull paper



You have all probably seen Bhullar et al.'s new paper saying birds have skulls 
that resemble those of juvenile theropods and crocodilians.  The most popular 
figure has been figure 4, "showing the nearly identical skull configuration of 
[juvenile Alligator and adult Confuciusornis] and indicating
paedomorphic cranial morphology in Confuciusornis."  When I first saw that, I 
thought it was odd to use Confuciusornis, since it had such an odd skull for a 
basal bird.  I commented on that on Jaime Headden's blog, and Bhullar replied, 
saying Confuciusornis' skull wasn't very different from other early birds like 
the Montsec enantiornithine juvenile.  Setting out to test this, I discovered 
Bhullar et al.'s wireframes don't match the skulls they supposedly belong to at 
all, and that a real wireframe comparison between Confuciusornis and juvenile 
Alligator would show a lot of differences.  Check out the details at my blog- 
http://theropoddatabase.blogspot.com/2012/07/does-confuciusornis-really-have-skull.html
 .

Mickey Mortimer