Stacey Mooney
                                                                                           Animal Life - Clarke
"Missing Link Ties Birds, Dinosaurs":  a summary
    Paleontologist Catherine Forster and her fellow researchers discovered a new species of bird in a sandstone bed in Madagascar.  The bird was obviously a very primitive one because it had a sickle claw.  Forster and her colleagues named this species Rahona ostromi.  This species lived 65 to 70 million years ago; it "had feathered wings like a modern bird, but a long bony tail and a sickle claw like a meat-eating theropod dinosaur".  Later Forster and paleontologist Scott Sampson and David Krause, went back to the sandstone beds in Madagascar.  They unearthed a "long, slender lower wing bone with quill knobs for feather attachment".  The entire bird was chiseled out of the stone and it was discovered that this bird looked "even more like a theropod than Archaeopteryx"did.  The bird's "last six dorsal vertebrae have an extra articular face, as seen in theropods but not in modern birds".  However, there is controversy over whether these new species are birds or dinosaurs.  The controversy over whether or not Rahona ostromi is a bird or dinosaur will probably not be settled until another specimen is found - "complete with wings, tail, and slashing claws"- from the sandstone beds of Madagascar.
Author:  Ann Gibbons
Journal:  SCIENCE
Volume 279,  pp.1851-1852
20 March 1998