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Sordes, Brachiosaurs, Mamenchisa
<<Paleontologists no longer believe that Sordes pilosus had hair,>>
<< Unwin and Bakhurina found long, rigid fibers in the outer sections
of the pterosaur's wing, the part that needs stiffness in flapping flight>>
Are these Wellnhofer's aktinofibrils? If this is what they are referring
to, I don't see how these could be misidentified as hair. They look
nothing like hair, they look like aktinofibrils (leave it to someone who
speaks German to put a "K" in a scientific word).
<<and thin, curly fibers closer to the animal's body, where more
flexibility would have been needed.>>
Why would it need stiffiners on its body (not the wings)? This seems
a bit stupid to me. Especially since _Sordes_ specimens show that
there were these "thin, curly fibers" on the wing (not needed there
because it is supposed to be stiffened by aktinofibrils). Also, it
shows the fibers on the wing extending past the wing's trailing edge.
That is absolutely not what would be expected for a structure that
was supposedly inside of the skin.
<<I admit I have always wondered why, if pterosaurs were really
hairy, we don't see it more clearly in Solnhofen pterosaur fossils -
from the same beds that produced clear feather impressions in
There are pretty good impressions of hairs and folicles in
_Pterodactylus_, _Rhamphorhynchus_, and _Dorygnathus_. Also,
remember that only a few _Archaeopteryx_ show the really fine
contour feather impressions. I would think that hair would be more
delicate like the contour feathers, not like the gigantic flight feathers
that were splayed out, asking to leave an impression.
<<The brachiosaur snout in quite long and contains a
full battery of spattulate teeth that can look pretty fierce. The
bones of the skull, however, are extremely thin and probably would
not withstand the kind of strain involved in biting an attacker. There
is not much room for heavy duty muscle attatchments. I would really
hesitate to include the brachiosaurs' bite in a list of defensive
This is probably true, definately. I would not however rule out the
possibilty that if Senor Allosaurus happened to be in biting distance
(like really close to its head) it wouldn't bite it. I don't think this
have been an everyday occurance, or even something that a
brachiosaur was remotely inclined to do, just that it would be a
possibility. Also, think about it for a second; why bring your head all
the way down there, when your foot is already there?
<<True...but in the _Western_ world, the consensus in most books
seemed to place it as a diplodocid (often in the Mamenchisaurinae
subfamily), whereas the Chinese, who had much better exposure to
the various regional sauropods, guessed it to be a Euhelopodid,
which, of course, it turned out to be! 8-)>>
Isn't _Euhelopus_ a Camarasaurid? I do agree that
_Mamenchisaurus_ and _Omeisaurus_ belong in a family together
(the Mamenchisauridae) haowever.