Dino-Bird Fossil Controversy
This "recantation" appeared ont he National Geographic
web site shortly after the orignial article appeared in the magazine.
Continued studies of a fossil specimen that was first thought to be a missing link between dinosaurs and birds have revealed that the fossil may be the remains of two or more extinct creatures.
Scientists now suggest that one part of the fossil may be a primitive toothed bird and another portion may be the tail of a dromaeosaurid dinosaur. Dromaeosaurs were one of a family of small- to medium-size predators that includes Jurassic Park's "raptors."
Unique to the Archaeoraptor fossil, they said, was the presence of both a bird-like bone structure and a strong, dinosaur-like tail.
Following leads among Chinese fossil dealers, in late December Xu Xing visited a collector and found a fossil, which, he now suspects, is the counterpart to the tail of the Archaeoraptor specimen.
In addition, CT scans of the fossil, funded by National Geographic, seem to confirm Xu Xing's suspicions.
"National Geographic will continue to support efforts to study it fully."