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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]

In a message dated 96-02-06 18:25:41 EST, you write:

>>     Assuming that any theropod except Archaeopteryx had feathers is a 
>>a much bigger assumption.  
>   Why?  Right now there are damn few skin impressions of theropods that can
>conclusively show anything.  Absence of evidence is not (necessarily)
>evidence of absence.  Given that 1) Dromaeosaurs were very closely related
>to Archaeopteryx and 2) Archaeopteryx had feathers it makes sense that all
>maniraptorans had feathers.
>   Then there's that ornithomimid skin impression that hints that it had
>some sort of featherlike structure growing out of its skin.....

Given that there is a paucity of evidence regarding dinosaur skin and that
those few impressions have _not_ shown any sort of feather, anyone who is
convinced that theropods had feathers is taking a greater leap of faith than
is acceptible science.  I do not mean this as a barb, nor to offend. Those of
you who steadfastly want to see feathered Tyrannosaurs  are certainly
entitled to believe so but I remind you that it is mere speculation. It is
not fact!  And right now it is just wishful thinking.  No one has yet to
prove that birds are dinosaurs in any sense. IMHO, from a scientific point of
view,   what little skin matreial that is known shows no evidence of any type
of feather. As for the new ornithomimid , the jury is still out. I t would
not surprise me at all if the vaunted feather or somethinglikeit impression
is an artifact of preservation.

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies