'True missing link' fossil false?

Geoff Read g.read at NIWA.CRI.NZ
Tue Feb 29 13:55:25 CST 2000

> I see that belief in the  'Archaeoraptor liaoningensis' fossil, feathery
> missing link star of Nat Geog's November issue, but  of dubious
> provenance because it was apparently smuggled out of China to be sold,
> has crumbled as evidence mounts it is a composite of a bird & a
> dromaeosaur. Oops!

Additionally items in New Scientist ('Piltdown bird'!, 'F is for Fake'!) and
Nature, & no doubt elsewhere too scrutinise this issue. That in Nature of 17
 Feb is the most illuminating and is accompanied by a critical editorial.
National Geographic has prematurely published the binominal of the
'species' which was to be formally described  in Nature, then Science. Both
rejected the MS. This is all somewhat ironic given that Nat. Geog. is usually
either a blithe practioner of the 'genus as species' error or omits latin

  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

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