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Re: Dino Feathers



Your comment about cormorants and spreading of feathers to dry reminded me
that in _Mesozoic Meanderings_ #2 I raised the possibility that
_Archaeopteryx_ was a cormorant-like diving bird, thus explaining its rather
plentiful presence in the Solnhofen lithographic limestone along with fish,
etc. Larry Martin once told me that unlike most modern-day birds,
_Archaeopteryx_  did not have hollow long bones. This feature happens to be
an adaptation common to extant diving birds (loons, penguins, cormorants) and
further supports the diving-bird hypothesis: Too much air in the bones would
make diving difficult because of water buoyancy.

Regarding the "pt" combination (and also "pn"): My understanding is that in
the original Greek both consonants are pronounced together regardless of
where they occur in the word, so it sounds like someone spitting. In English,
it is normal to drop the "p" at the beginning of a word when it precedes an
odd consonant; but in my obstinate way, I pronounce the "p" even there. I
also say "kuh-NIFE" instead of "knife." So if we ever get together to talk
about pterosaurs or pneumatic tires, watch out for the spray.

As if that weren't bad enough, I'm also getting into the habit of pronouncing
_Ceratosaurus_  "ke-RAT-uh-saw-rus," ceratopian "ker-uh-TOPE-yun, and
_Triceratops_ "try-KER-a-tops." Just a personal quirk.

George Olshevsky