Archaeopterygid bird from China
jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Mar 30 12:55:03 CST 2005
It seems non scientific in that the fossils themselves do not lead to
the hypothesis. The hypothesis comes from somewhere else. For example,
why would one need to hypothesize that a taxon had its origin at or near
the location of the oldest fossil? And how can any further fossils
'test' that proposition. If one found an older Archaeopterygid bird in
Antarctica, for example, one would still not be any the wiser about the
initial hypothesis, or even that a taxon has an origin associated with
any one particular location.
I see the example with hominid fossils being slightly different in that
a group may be seen to have evolved over the range where it occurred (as
opposed to where it does not have any records) although its not
necessarily any more real as the flores skeleton (with all its early
hominid features) shows. Searching for the ultimate center of origin
seems to come from theory rather than the empirical record. At least
that's my take on it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Richard Jensen
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 12:21 PM
> To: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Archaeopterygid bird from China
> I woud submit that the location of the oldest known fossil can be used
> construct a simple scientific hypothesis - the taxon had its origin
> near that location. This becomes a hypothesis and can be tested as
> fossils come to light. The fact that virtually all of the earlist
> hominid fossils come from east Africa seems pretty good reason to
> hypothesize that that is where they evolved. What, exactly, is
> non-scientific about this?
> Dick J.
> John Grehan wrote:
> > Interesting to see new material for the origin of birds, but I would
> > caution that the fossil record has nothing to do with the family
> > originating in any particular place over any other. That's just a
> > theoretical postulate going back to Darwin and it has no necessary
> > relationship with reality. The location of the oldest known fossil
> > no necessary relationship with the distribution of a group at its
> > phylogenetic origin. The location of the oldest fossil is just that
> > the location of the oldest fossil. Everything else (I would submit)
> > largely, if not wholly, a fanciful conjecture masquerading as
> > (and successfully doing so judging by the widespread acceptability
> > this approach in scientific journals).
> > John Grehan
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU]
> > > Behalf Of Ken Kinman
> > > Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 11:10 AM
> > > To: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
> > > Subject: [TAXACOM] Archaeopterygid bird from China
> > >
> > > Dear All,
> > > A close relative of Archaeopteryx has been described from
> > China.
> > > Whether it is from the Jurassic or Lower Cretaceous is uncertain,
> > it
> > > could be same age as Archaeopteryx or a bit younger. Whatever its
> > age, it
> > > seems to be a slightly more generalized, primitive member of
> > > Archaeopterygidae. This indicates to me that this family more
> > > arose in Asia (with Archaeopteryx being a specialized offshoot in
> > Europe).
> > > Therefore Archaeopteryx is slowly losing its special status, and
> > will
> > > continue as even more primitive members of the family are
> > in
> > > Asia. The title of the paper is poorly worded, but here's the
> > citation:
> > >
> > > Ji Q., Ji S., Lu J., You H., Chen W., Liu Y., and Liu Y., 2005.
> > > avialan bird from China (_Jinfengopteryx elegans_ gen. et sp.
> > > Geological Bulletin of China 24(3): 197-205.
> > >
> > > ----Cheers,
> > > Ken Kinman
> Richard J. Jensen | tel: 574-284-4674
> Department of Biology | fax: 574-284-4716
> Saint Mary's College | e-mail: rjensen at saintmarys.edu
> Notre Dame, IN 46556 | http://www.saintmarys.edu/~rjensen
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