Friday, September 25, 2009

Birds to Dinosaurs: The Avalanche of Evidence Continues

PhysOrg is reporting on the discovery and description of a four-winged dinosaur that provides more evidence of the dinosaur-bird transition. The article notes:

Until now, A. huxleyi was thought to be a primitive bird. It was presumed to have been a near-contemporary of , the first recognised bird, which flew around 150 million years ago.

But these opinions were based on an incomplete fossil.

The new, nearly-complete specimen gives a different picture, suggesting that A. huxleyi is millions of years older than Archaeopteryx and has both dinosaur and avian features.

It is the long-sought evidence that proves birds descended from theropod dinosaurs, argues Xu.

Interestingly, when complete individuals of Archaeopteryx were discovered, several researchers went back to their drawers and pulled out what they thought were theropod dinosaurs and discovered that they had misclassified them! This find also continues to blow a hole in the creationism argument that focuses on Archaeopteryx being a bird and, thus, not descendant from dinosaurs—an argument that grows more dishonest with every new discovery:

Scientists have long argued about the evolutionary line taken by birds.

Some have said bird-like dinosaurs appear too late in the to be the true ancestors of birds, an argument known as the "temporal paradox."

The debate has raged for years mainly because the fossil evidence is so rare or fragmented.

The new evidence comes from in Daxishan, in Jianchang county in northeastern China.

It was found in rock dated to the early part of the Late Jurassic, between 151 and 161 million years ago, which means it is clearly older than Archaeopteryx.

There is now a wealth of evidence for over two dozen different forms that show the transition from dinosaurs to birds. Time to stick this one in the "arguments that creationists shouldn't use" pile.

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  1. Anonymous6:05 AM

    What do you make of Reasons To Believe take on this ?

  2. Don't know. I will have to listen to it. RTB usually gets the cosmology and astrophysics right and botches the biology and palaeontology, so I am curious.