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Re: Air sacs in extant non-avian reptiles?

>In a message dated 7/31/00 5:46:12 PM, bettyc@flyinggoat.com writes:
><< In addition to 'most' paleontologists, 'most' ornthologists agree that
>there is a very strong arguement for the origin for birds having arisen
>from dinosaurs. >>
>Okay, can you tell me ONE professional ornthologist who belives that birds
>are currently reptiles? Not aknowleging the possibility of dinosaur ancestry,
>but currently having the same characteristics as lizards, snakes and turtles.

Again, you are asking for something self-contradictory.  "Birds are
reptiles" can mean two very different things:

1.  Birds are descended from the last common ancestor of turtles,
lepidosaurs, and crocodylians.  As far as I know, all professional
ornithologists accept this.

2.  Birds are scaly, sprawling, cold-blooded dimwits that hide under
creosote bushes in the desert sun.  This seems to be your definition of
"reptile," and of course no modern ornithologist would believe this - but
neither would any modern herpetologist.

Furthermore, when you look very closely at living nonavian reptiles, there
aren't that many characteristics that really bind them together


Christopher A. Brochu
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

voice: 312-665-7633
fax: 312-665-7641
electronic:  cbrochu@fmppr.fmnh.org