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What Is A Bird (a k a Euornithine Ornithothoracine Pygostylian...etc.)?

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerFebruary 26, 2010 2:04 PM
220px-Greater Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus roseus) W2 IMG 0072


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My post on birds and dinosaurs yesterday led to a little debate on Facebook, including this, from paleontologist Thomas Holtz:

All living birds share a common ancestor that would also be considered a bird, so they are a monophyletic group. Nevertheless, that group is deeply nested among euornithine ornithothoracine pygostylian avialian eumaniraptoran paravian metornithine maniraptoran maniraptoriform tyrannoraptoran coelurosaurian avetheropodan tetanurine averostran neotheropod theropod saurischian dinosaurs.

...and breathe.

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