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RE: Scansoriopteryx, a non-dinosaurian bird (?)
Let's try this again in plain text (freakin' gmail thinking anything
with an e-mail address should have a link...)
The listprocessor is also not recognizing Allan:
Subject: RE: Scansoriopteryx, a non-dinosaurian bird (?)
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2014 14:59:04 -0400
If we accept that their paper is correct, in that _Scansoriopteryx_ is
a 'bird', and does not share most non-volant dinosaurian traits, that
does NOT mean that _Archaeopteryx_ is not the Ur-bird (or close to the
split), or that all extant birds are NOT derived from non-volant
dinosaurs - just that _Scansoriopteryx_ is a similar bird-like,
non-dinosaurian creature, that lived earlier than _Archaeopteryx_. It
could be an evolutionary dead-end (as some have opined about
_Archaeopteryx_ as well).
_Scansoriopteryx_ may have developed its flight from a trees-down
scenario, but, even if true, this doesn't mean that the ancestors of
all modern extant birds did.
This is a logical fallacy - "If A is true, that means that B cannot be
true", when A and B are separate events, and are linked by only one or
two correlations. There is no exclusionary situation described here
(at least based on the abstract).
They believe that _Scansoriopteryx_ is one of the first birds, and is
not non-volant dinosaurian, and therefore, all other following birds
are descended from it - and therefore, birds are not dinosaurs. (The
latter being their goal all-along, apparently).
Personally, it would be interesting to see all the so-called
non-dinosaurian traits that they have identified in _Scansoriopteryx_.
I agree with them in that _Scansoriopteryx_ may be a so-called "tetrapteryx".
Also, discovery of a pre-_Archaeopteryx_ bird does not mean that birds
are not dinosaurs. _Archaeopteryx_ may well be a strange bird ( :D
), in that it retained many non-volant dinosaurian traits, along with
the volant dinosaur traits. It may be preserving an older lineage
that is closer to the origin of volant dinosaurs than the specimens of
_Archaeopteryx_ currently are.
Just my 2 cents,