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Related to protoavis: archeopteryx
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most primitive avian type known

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Chatterjee also reports that Protoavis had enormous eyes, a finely developed sense of hearing and a highly specialized brain--all characteristics that extend the similarity with birds.
While he plans to detail these features in a future monograph, Chatterjee believes the skull alone qualifies Protoavis as the oldest known bird.
Gauthier, who has examined the actual Protoavis specimens, says most of the bones are poorly preserved, making it extremely difficult to identify many of the features important to Chatterjee's argument.
Gauthier believes the Protoavis fossils may actually represent bones for several different kinds of animals mixed together, an opinion shared by Storrs Olson, a leading authority on fossil birds with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.
Olson also questions the way Chatterjee has glued and plastered various bones together to construct Protoavis.
While they don't necessarily accept Protoavis as a bird, these researchers think the animal could lie very close to the origin of birds.
However, he suggests Protoavis had many avian features.
Martin argues that even if Protoavis could not fly, it still pushes back the origin of birds to a time much earlier than Archaeopteryx.
As expected, each camp interprets the Protoavis claim differently.
If Protoavis were indeed a bird or a close relative of one, it would push the origin of birds back into the mid-to late-Triassic, a full 75 million years earlier than scientists have previously estimated.
Ostrom calls the Protoavis fossils "anextraordinarily improbable discovery" because the fragil bones of birds are rarely preserved this well.