Archaeopteryx lithographia and protoavis

Subject: Archaeopteryx lithographia and protoavis
From: Kim Sterelny <>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 14:42:27 +1000
I think A. lithographia is the earliest that is more or less universally recognised, but there are much older fossils (about 220 milion years old) about which there is much argument. The finder of these fossils, and the person who is the main defender of the view that they are avian is Sankar Chatterjee, and he makes his case is his: Rise of Birds : 225 Million Years of Evolution

It is a pretty good read, but I am not enough of a vertebrate palaeontologist to assess his case for the avian nature of his fossils. If he is right though, it certainly sets the cat amongst the pigeons with regard to the dinosaur/bird relationships and the taxonomic status of lithographia

Kim Sterelny
Philosophy Program
Philosophy Department
Victoria University Wellington

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