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ANNOYING RUMOURS, DIGS AT DIGS...
Well looks like things are adhering to chaos after all... We've lots to sort out
between us, seeing as we're all one big 'happy' family (I don't reply to what
I can't understand). AS for all those stupid snippets I posted.. well done for
posting Bernandino, it was good to hear about the Las Hoyos material. You didn't
mention the albanerpedontids (albanerpetontids?). I take it your ornithomimosaur
study works around _Pelecanimimus_, what can you tell us about the integument
preserved on that dinosaur? And can we read about the big Las Hoyos theropod
anywhere? I hadn't heard of that...
Anyway, the unenlightened browse through books, sometimes periodicals, press
releases, some are media-connected who just catch snippets. Imagine reading a
book on dinosaurs written in a language you had only very little understanding
of. You'd get some ideas from the pictures, and you'd understand some jargon,
but lacking the background info. and unable to decipher the whole story (any KB
fans who will get this teensy joke?), you will decode only a fragment of the
info. This is how the story about the 'Propterosaur' started - someone saw the
picture of said creature in Wellenhofer's book, didn't bother to read the text,
and assumed that the animal was a real one. They mailed me (they're not on the
list, BTY), I told my friends - they got excited. Concerning Bernandino's
1) I have my suspicions that the _Iberomesornis_ theory was suggested by an
artist who was commissioned to do an _Ibero_ restoration. I understand that, in
an article Feduccia published in Science some months back, _Ibero_ was
illustrated climbing trees, with stiff tail feathers propping its body (as in
woodpecker). That must be something to do with it. Perhaps someone can find out
more... (though I think that _Ibero_ was one of the 'crude shorebirds').
2) Alvarezsaurids as avialians is now widespread news. I'd better not say
anymore in case I get in trouble (please mail me Tracy).
3) Much unpublished speculation exists on the possibilities of integument in
certain dinosaurs, and there are quite a few individuals now insisting that some
theropods, for example, were feathery. I even had sent to me a restoration of
a furry allosaur, I think it might have been published in a book... Anyhow,
following an article on feathery theropods in the UK mag 'Dinosaurs', a guy
called Roland Sturgeon sent me a cladogram of theropods in which he depicted his
theories on loss and gain of integument in the theropods. Theropod phylogenies
nowadays are based on Tom Holtz' work, but Roland drew from a, shall we say,
more Bakkerian stance. The most interesting piece of speculation (and I guess
this is nothing more than that) is that the tyrannosaur-troodontid-
ornithomimosaur clade (Holtz' Arctometatarsalia) did not have the genetic
capacity to grow feathers as adults. He reckoned that they would have lost this
ability: this would be a reversal as ancestral coelurosaurs had it. I guess the
idea comes from either _Pelecanimimus_ and/or _Nanotyrannus_, the latter of
which definitely has scaly skin preserved. It being only 6 or so metres long,
the idea is that it would be expected to have feathers. Uh? So, in another
letter, Roland changed his mind and said it likely that these dinosaurs retained
integument, and that the scales of nano must be from another dinosaur. And now
it gets silly, and I'd better say no more before I get seriously reprimanded.
EVEN IF a theropod like nano had feathers (and it didn't anyhow), they wouldn't
be on its snout - all archosaurs with integument had/have naked snouts... But
then not everyone agrees, and _____ _____ published a restoration of _Coelurus_
with a furry snout. Sigh....
"One of the descendants of the Griffon was an immortal bird-mammal called the
Senmurv.... in the beginning the Senmurv was a friend to man and lived
peacefully in a tree guarded by 99,999 attendants and a magic fish. The seeds
of this tree were also magical and could cure all ills. Whenever the Senmurv
landed on the tree its great weigh dislodged thousands of seeds, which fell to
earth to cure the sick"