Re: [asa] Did dinosaurs become chickens?

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Fri Jan 30 2009 - 11:46:23 EST

But the real proof in the pudding is that just about every kind of meat
except beef "tastes like chicken."

On Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 11:41 AM, <> wrote:

> > A naive question. How can dinosaurs evolve into chickens if the
> > extinction of dinosaurs occurred suddenly?
> Two different questions, I will respond to the one above first.
> Taxonomy is the procedure for assigning names to species and to groups
> of species. The field of systematics involves developing the criteria
> by which organisms are grouped into a heirarchy of categories. There
> are different competing methodologies for how this is done. The most
> influential systematics being used today is cladistics. Using
> cladistic proceedures, birds (all birds) are a subset of the dinosaur
> group. In this classification, birds ARE dinosaurs. Therefore,
> dinosaurs as a group did not go extinct at the end of the Cretaceous.
> However, if you used the older "evolutionary" classification system or
> the still older Linnean classification system , birds were grouped as a
> separate class. Using that classification, dinosaurs did go extinct.
> It is important to understand that classifying birds in a separate
> group does not imply that they are unrelated to dinosaurs.
> In response to the question in your subject line: The fossil evidence
> for the evolution of birds from the maniraptoran group of dinosaurs
> (Oviraptors, Troodontids, Therizinosaurs, Dromaeosaurids) is very
> extensive and rapidly increasing. There are now numerous dinosaur
> specimens that show transitional characters with the earliest birds.
> Various maniraptoran dinosaurs (especially the Dromaeosaurids)exhibit
> nearly all of the diagnostic skeletal features of the earliest
> unquestioned birds. As with other cases in which there is a good
> fossil record, there are specimens whose proper classification is in
> question. Paleontologists talk of avian and non-avian dinosaurs - the
> the distinctions are sometimes very subtle and disputed. The origin of
> birds from maniraptoran dinosaurs has been given increased support with
> the discovery of non-avian dinosaurs with various filamentous and
> feather-like body coverings. Some even have true feathers, and a few
> (eg Microraptor) may have been capable of gliding flight.
> I discuss some of this in my book chapter on transitional forms in
> "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation." However, even since the
> publication of that book in 2004, there have been many new fossil
> discoveries that have further filled in and illuminated the
> maniraptoran - bird transition.
> Keith
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Received on Fri Jan 30 11:46:31 2009

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