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Re: Scansoriopteryx, a non-dinosaurian bird (?)

Good for a laugh.

On Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 12:34 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> Stephen A. Czerkas & Alan Feduccia (2014)
> Jurassic archosaur is a non-dinosaurian bird.
> Journal of Ornithology (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1007/s10336-014-1098-9
> http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10336-014-1098-9
> Re-examination utilizing Keyence 3D digital microscopy and low angled
> illumination of the fossil Scansoriopteryx, a problematic sparrow-size
> pre-Archaeopteryx specimen from the Jurassic Daohugou Biotas, provides
> new evidence which challenges the widely accepted hypothesis that
> birds are derived from dinosaurs in which avian flight originated from
> cursorial forms. Contrary to previous interpretations in which
> Scansoriopteryx was considered to be a coelurosaurian theropod
> dinosaur, the absence of fundamental dinosaurian characteristics
> demonstrates that it was not derived from a dinosaurian ancestry and
> should not be considered as a theropod dinosaur. Furthermore, the
> combination in which highly plesiomorphic non-dinosaurian traits are
> retained along with highly derived features, yet only the beginnings
> of salient birdlike characteristics, indicates that the basal origins
> of Aves stemmed from outside the Dinosauria and further back to basal
> archosaurs. Impressions of primitive elongate feathers on the
> forelimbs and hindlimbs suggest that Scansoriopteryx represents a
> basal form of “tetrapteryx” in which incipient aerodynamics involving
> parachuting or gliding was possible. Along with unique adaptations for
> an arboreal lifestyle, Scansoriopteryx fulfills predictions from the
> early twentieth century that the ancestors of birds did not evolve
> from dinosaurs, and instead were derived from earlier arboreal
> archosaurs which originated flight according to the traditional
> trees-down scenario.