Re: half-evolved feather pt 2

Stephen Jones (
Wed, 22 Apr 98 05:55:31 +0800


On Mon, 13 Apr 1998 19:13:37 -0500, Glenn Morton wrote:

>SJ>You just ignore the "reptilian and avian lungs" part! If
>>"Longisquama insignis" was indeed transitional between reptiles and
>>birds it would need to have these developing as well. Johnson
>>("Darwin on Trial," 1993, p36) cites Denton's conclusion regarding
>>the twin problems of the feather and avian lung:

GM>Stephen, I didn't say that Longisquama was an intermediate
>between birds and reptiles. I don't know where you got this.

including thecodonts)" were "the most likely candidate for proximity to
avian ancestry":

Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 14:09:16 -0600
From: (Glenn Morton)
Subject: half-evolved feathers

"Megalancosaurus, in combination with Longisquama, a Lower
Triassic thecodont with featherlike scales and furcula, render
this group (basal archosaurs, including thecodonts) the most
liekly candidate for proximity to avian ancestry."~A. Feduccia
and R. Wild, "Birdlike Characters in the Triassic Archosaur
Megalancosaurus," Naturwissenschaften, 80(1993):564-566

What is "proximity to avian ancestry" if it is not "intermediate between
birds and reptiles"?

GM>But feathers don't have to be strictly limited to birds. There is
>other evidence that dinosaurs had feathers independently of flight.
>What I said was that this was a possible half evolved feather.

Please make up your mind! You quote Feduccia who does not believe
that birds descended from dinosaurs:

"TRADITIONAL thinking about the ancestry of birds has been
challenged by biologists in the US. They say that a comparison of
dinosaur claws with bird wings and feet contradicts the widespread
theory that birds evolved from small, flesh-eating dinosaurs 150
million years ago. Birds, reptiles and mammals all have four limbs,
each with up to five digits. In birds, as in the dinosaurs called
theropods from which birds were thought to have descended, two of
the digits have vanished, or almost vanished, during evolution. But
now Ann Burke and Alan Feduccia of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that birds and theropods are
missing different digits. "As a result, it's almost inconceivable that one
group derived from the other," Feduccia says." (Knight J., "Dinosaur
theory put to flight," New Scientist, Vol 156, No 2106, 1 November
1997, p20)

"The main opponent of the dinosaur theory championed by Ostrom and
Gauthier is ornithologist Alan Feduccia of the University of North
Carolina. "Ornithologists just see Archaeopteryx as a primitive bird,
with no connection to dinosaurs or anything; these dinosaurologists see
it as a little dinosaur," he says. "Well, I've studied bird skulls for 25
years and I don't see any similarity whatsoever. I just don't see it." How
certain is he that birds are not descended from dinosaurs? "The
theropod origin of birds, in my opinion, will be the greatest
embarrassment of palaeontology of the 20th century," he
declares."(Shipman P., "Birds do it...did dinosaurs?", New Scientist,
Vol 153, No 2067, 1 February 1997, p28)

then you cite "evidence that dinosaurs had feathers independently of
flight"! Which is it to be?

>SJ>You have mentioned that "the first english language report on
>>Longisquama appeard in 1972". When was the *latest* journal
>>article on it?

GM>Of what value is this? It was mentioned in Nature magazine a few
>weeks ago which is where I learned of it.

This is the first time you have mentioned that you first learned of
Longisquama "in Nature magazine". When you wrote:

"...This fossil was cited in a discussion of bird origins recently which is
where I first found it, and I am trying to chase this down." (Date: Mon,
06 Apr 1998 18:42:22 -0500 To: Bill Hamilton
<>, From: (Glenn Morton) Subject: Re: half-evolved

we all assumed you meant the Naturwissenschaften article, because
your first post on the subject said:

"I just ran into the following data which contradicts one of the favorite
anti-evolutionary claims...A. Feduccia and R. Wild, "Birdlike
Characters in the Triassic Archosaur Megalancosaurus,"
Naturwissenschaften, 80(1993):564-566

The clear impression given is that what you "ran into" was the
Naturwissenschaften article. Why were you not open and above board
and state from the outset that "It was mentioned in Nature magazine a
few weeks ago"?

Indeed, you still seem to be less than open in the vague way you say:
"It was mentioned in Nature magazine a few weeks ago." Why don't
you give exact references and even a quote, like you did for the
Naturwissenschaften article?


Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)