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Thread: Archaeopteryx not a bird?!!!

  1. #1 Archaeopteryx not a bird?!!! 
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    Archaeopteryx Knocked From Roost as Original Bird | Wired Science | Wired.com

    Creationists will LOVE this. I can hear my Ornithology professor crying in my mind right now.

    From Wiki, more info:

    A cladistic analysis by Xu e.a. showed that Xiaotingia formed a clade with Archaeopteryx, the Dromaeosauridae and the Troodontidae to the exclusion of other forms traditionally seen as birds. Xu e.a. therefore (re)defined the concepts of Deinonychosauria and Avialae to the extent that Archaeopteryx and Xiaotingia belonged to the Deinonychosauria and Archaeopteryx no longer was an avial. This led to popular reports that "Archaeopteryx is no longer a bird". However, Xu e.a. explicitly allowed for a traditional Aves with Archaeopteryx as a specifier, which clade would in their analysis include the Deinonychosauria.

    Sounds like the mainstream media jumped the gun. Discuss.


    Last edited by gottspieler; July 28th, 2011 at 11:49 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman The Vegan Marxist's Avatar
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    I don't particularly see where the creationists will have thought they've won their long-argued battle, since it still proves them wrong no matter where you look at it. Yes, it's not the grandfather of birds as originally thought, but that then doesn't mean it wasn't transitioning into what we now know as birds. The fact that it holds characteristics to that of birds is one in which allows us to understand where birds originated from, per se.


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    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    "This evolutionary lineage proves that evolution doesn't exist" is an insane comment to make. Expect it from lots of creationists in the future...
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle View Post
    "This evolutionary lineage proves that evolution doesn't exist" is an insane comment to make. Expect it from lots of creationists in the future...
    I already hear it. Archy was an important transitional fossil and used by Evolutionary Biologists often as an example to prove the point to the uninitiated that evolution is a fact. For those people who know nothing of molecular biology, such fossils are the only simple proofs they could potentially grasp. Though he is being replaced by an ancient bird that may share yet more common traits with modern birds, Creationists will only read, "Archaeopteryx is a Fraud". Found just two years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, the fossil's validity was controversial since that time in the eyes of many. Creationists no doubt will see the article as an expose on "Evolutionist lies" and think to themselves, "well, perhaps science truly can't be trusted". At least scientists will always know the truth.
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    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    I see the 'scientific' objections of the rigorously unscientific as great praise.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Archaeopteryx was never a bird.

    There have been six good, almost complete fossil specimens of Archaeopteryx discovered. Two of them did not show traces of feathers and were not identified initially as Archaeopteryx. Instead, they were given new names as new species of dinosaurs. Archaeopteryx has always been a dinosaur with bird features, and the debate has been long and fierce as to whether it was a precursor of birds, or an offshoot.

    In recent years, many dinosaur fossils have been found with feathers, which make Archaeopteryx a lot less special.
    Feathered dinosaur - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Facts are stubborn little things. That Archeopteryx had flight feathers is a fact. Not proto-feathers or well developed scales. but asymetrical flight feathers nearly identical to a modern birds! And it would be reasonable to deduce that, though it shares a similiar body plan to dinosaurs owing to their shared ancestor, it belonged to its own separate lineage. BUT, my personal belief is that Archaeopteryx IS a deinonychosaur, and that the entire deinonychosaur clan will be found to be a branch of primitive bird. Regardless, until more fossils are discovered, including the basal avian progenitor that must have preceded Archaeopteryx, i'll wait before making any conclusions on its place in the family tree. Anyway, i'm just excited that this subject has been brought to the forefront of the scientific community - people are talking about Archaeopteryx!
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