Dinosaurs and birds

To: John Penhallurick <>,
Subject: Dinosaurs and birds
From: Ronald Orenstein <>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 08:03:15 -0400
At 03:42 PM 11/10/01 +1000, John Penhallurick wrote:
R eKim Sterelny's post.  I think that the sequencing of certain genes in
nuclear DNA has indicated that birds are not descended directly from
dinosaurs but rather that birds and dinosaurs share a common ancestor.
John Penhallurick

Considering that there are no living dinosaurs (except birds) I wonder how DNA evidence could possibly show this? The closest living relatives to birds that could supply DNA samples are crocodilians.

The morphological evidence has certainly convinced all but a small minority of palaeontologists (including, most notably, Larry Martin and Alan Feduccia) that birds are not just descended from dinosaurs but specifically from the group known as Maniraproria that includes Velociraptor and Oviraptor. The discovery of fossils like Caudipteryx, which has been identified by some as a basal oviraptoriform with well-developed feathers, has greatly bolstered this argument.

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          
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