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Re: Featherless _Mononykus_?



On Wed, 24 Apr 1996, Byron Butler (GD 1995) wrote:

> On Wed, 24 Apr 1996 Stang1996@aol.com wrote:
>
> > Whatever for?  Is there some reason not to put feathers on _Mononykus_?
> >
> Yes! The best reason there is - good science. No feathers have been
> discovered with this fossil.  :-)

        No muscles, no intestines, no skin, no ligaments or tendons or
horn sheaths for the claws, either, for Mononykos. We infer these from
what evidence we do have of fossil and living animals.
         We can be confident that the common
ancestor of archaeopterygians and modern birds bore feathers; if Mononykos
fits inside that clade, it should have feathers as well. If it didn't the
question is still open because we have no idea where feathers originated.
        What is the general consensus? Is Mononykos still considered a
secondarily flightless animal by most? What is the evidence for avian
kinship, beyond the reversed pubes and keeled breastbone?