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Romancing the Birds and Dinosaurs


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About the Author

Evolutionary biologist Alan Feduccia is S. K. Heninger Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where as Chair of Biology he pioneered the UNC Genome Sciences Building, dedicated in 2012. In the mid-1970s he was the first to propose an explosive evolutionary model for birds following the Cretaceous extinction event, now known as bird evolution's Big Bang, and confirmed by whole genome analyses. He was also first to discover a vestigial first digit (thumb) in an avian embryo, a problem dating to the 1820s. Feduccia is the author of eight books, including notably the popular The Age of Birds (Harvard, 1980), and the award-winning The Origin and Evolution of Birds (Yale, 1996,1999), as well as numerous research papers, and is a popular lecturer. In 2014 UNC established the Alan Feduccia Distinguished Professorship.


In this strikingly unconventional and brilliant book, Professor Alan Feduccia presents the current status of the recent controversy about the origin of birds with clarity and vigor. A thought-provoking personal exploration of what the bird fossils represent.
---Sankar Chatterjee, Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor of Geosciences and Curator of Paleontology, Texas Tech University.

Feduccia's book eloquently reminds us that consensus science is to be shied away from especially when it is used to plead special cases against basic scientific principles. The concept of "lost birds" is particularly intriguing as it defines what birds are and how special science obfuscates the simplicity of evolution.
---David A. Burnham, Associate Researcher, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum.

Based on a thorough understanding of the empirical evidence, Feduccia presents a convincing account of avian origins from their putative ancestors.
---Walter J. Bock, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Columbia University and Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History.

With candor, clear thinking, humor, and abundant evidence, Alan Feduccia's Romancing the Birds and Dinosaurs should be mandatory reading for the countless millions who are intrigued by dinosaurs and their relatives, the birds. Feduccia points out the many empirical and logical shortcomings in the stubborn majority view that birds evolved from dinosaurs, an idea now solidly entrenched as dogma in education and popular culture. This new book will be as interesting to those who study human behavior and scientific methods as it will to students of vertebrate evolution.
---David W. Steadman, Curator of Ornithology, Professor of Biology, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida.

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