Archaeopterygid bird from China

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Mar 30 12:04:03 CST 2005

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 has
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) is
largely, if not wholly, a fanciful conjecture masquerading as science
(and successfully doing so judging by the widespread acceptability of
this approach in scientific journals).

John Grehan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Ken Kinman
> Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2005 11:10 AM
> Subject: [TAXACOM] Archaeopterygid bird from China
> Dear All,
>        A close relative of Archaeopteryx has been described from
> Whether it is from the Jurassic or Lower Cretaceous is uncertain, so
> 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 likely
> arose in Asia (with Archaeopteryx being a specialized offshoot in
> Therefore Archaeopteryx is slowly losing its special status, and this
> continue as even more primitive members of the family are discovered
> Asia.  The title of the paper is poorly worded, but here's the
> Ji Q., Ji S., Lu J., You H., Chen W., Liu Y., and Liu Y., 2005.  First
> avialan bird from China (_Jinfengopteryx elegans_ gen. et sp. nov.).
> Geological Bulletin of China 24(3): 197-205.
>   ----Cheers,
>         Ken Kinman

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