[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Sordes, Brachiosaurs, Mamenchisa

<<Paleontologists no longer believe that Sordes pilosus had hair,>>

Since when?

<< 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.

Peter Buchholz