Archaeopterygid bird from China

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Wed Mar 30 12:21:15 CST 2005

I woud submit that the location of the oldest known fossil can be used to
construct a simple scientific hypothesis  - the taxon had its origin at or
near that location.  This becomes a hypothesis and can be tested as more
fossils come to light. The fact that virtually all of the earlist known
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 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
> China.
> > Whether it is from the Jurassic or Lower Cretaceous is uncertain, so
> 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 likely
> > arose in Asia (with Archaeopteryx being a specialized offshoot in
> Europe).
> > Therefore Archaeopteryx is slowly losing its special status, and this
> will
> > continue as even more primitive members of the family are discovered
> 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.  First
> > avialan bird from China (_Jinfengopteryx elegans_ gen. et sp. nov.).
> > 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
Notre Dame, IN 46556    |

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