Re: Important new fossil [Rahonavis]

Adam Crowl (
Tue, 02 Feb 1999 01:58:01 PST

>Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 19:58:58 -0400
>From: (David Campbell)
>Subject: Re: Important new fossil [Rahonavis]
>>> The find in Madagascar of a fossil
>>>flying, sickle-clawed bird _Rahonavis ostromi_ suggests this very
>>What is the reference for the _Rahonavis ostromi_ specimen. I must
>>overlooked that article. Thanks.
>The "birds are not dinosaurs" folks have suggested that Rahonavis is a
>composite of a bird and a theropod. I do not think this claim has been
>disproven, though I presume the original authors had some reason to
>all the parts went together.
>David C.

Of course they would like that to be the case, and it's true that bird
fossils were found close to, but not mixed up with, _Rahonavis_. As I've
read through the responses of various "Dinolist" members to that
suggestion of a chimera, by Larry Martin, I was reasonably convinced
that Martin had no good reason to be as sceptical of the find as he was.
The fact that he jumped on the band-wagon which proclaimed a crocodilian
hepatic pump in _Sinosauropteryx_, even though the evidence was an
illusion of preparation and bad-photography, well his objectivity is
severely questionable. All scientists have theories, but the
anti-dinosaur camp are doing their science a disservice by extreme
denial. Their biomechanical objections to birds-as-dinosaur-descendents
are reasonable, though based on a charicature of what dinologists claim,
but their anatomical objections are based on poor knowledge of dinosaur


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