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Abstract

The baraminic status of Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae was evaluated using statistical baraminology. Baraminic distance correlation (BDC) and three dimensional multidimensional scaling (MDS) was applied to six previously published character matrices. The results reveal discontinuities between most Avialae and the Deinonychosauria (Troodontidae + Dromaeosauridae) and little evidence of continuity between modern birds and dinosaurs, suggesting that recent claims that statistical baraminology supports the evolution of birds from dinosaurs are misplaced. Nevertheless, we did find positive BDC and MDS clustering of some Avialae and deinonychosaurs in four of our analyses, suggesting that at least some Jurassic and Cretaceous Avialae may be clustered with dinosaurs. This observation raises the interesting philosophical question: what is a bird?

Keywords

Avialae, Dromaeosauridae, Troodontidae, baraminic distance, multidimensional scaling, baraminology, discontinuity

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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