[Taxacom] Gansus fossils overly hyped?

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 16 12:49:02 CDT 2006

Dear All,
      Finally, publication on a fantastic find of nearly complete fossils of 
the Cretaceous bird Gansus.  However, to say that this amphibious waterfowl 
is a good model for the ancestor of modern birds is a very risky 

     Not only are cladistic trees of early ornithuromorphans extremely 
unstable, but Gansus is a relatively specialized, foot-propelled bird (much 
like grebes and loons which were once classified close together and near the 
based of modern birds).  And add to that the poor fossilization potential of 
terrestrial birds compared to that of littoral birds and waterfowl.

     Anyway, here is a link to the abstract of the paper.  It's a great 
fossil find, but it is not a new taxon and I think it's evolutionary 
importance is being overly hyped:


             Ken Kinman

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