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I recently read some descriptions of protoavis that sought to prove that
birds and dinosaurs are related but not ancestral. Among other things it
mentioned the arangement of the toes and indicated that there were
differences between bird and dino feet. I don't have the book anymore (I
was browsing at Barnes and Noble) so I can't quote specifics yet. It also
indicated that the bones were already hollow, and it had a keeled sternum
and wishbone. 
The date they gave for protoavis was approx. the same time as
archeopteryx so they postulated that archeopteryx had been an
evolutionary dead end (or at least a parallel line that failed to
It had been my understanding that protoavis was either a hoax or the
evidence was inconclusive (or misinterpreted).
Am I missing something? What is the current status of protoavis? Fact or
Fallacy? Why are some paleontologists so affraid of the possibility that
dinos and birds aren't ancestral, but related. (Bakker is a good