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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]
> BUT.... absence of evidence IS circumstantial evidence. Regardless,
> absence of evidence is only compelling, as far as I'm concerned, if there
> can be a strong case made that skin/feather/hair impressions should be as
> common as the growing grass.
Many dinosaur skin impressions are known, perhaps the most
spectacular belonging to Carnotaurus and the hadrosaur "mummies". Except
for the peculiar Pelecimimus [sic] "hairs", which are very questionable,
no one has ever found feathers on any dinosaur except Archaeopteryx (and
post Archaeopteryx birds, if you really want to call them dinosaurs).
> There is very little evidence for arboreal and upland dinosaurs. Should
> we therefore conclude that there were no arboreal dinosaurs and no upland
> dinosaurs, rather than take into account the odds of their fossilization and
> come to a different conclusion?
The absence of an upland dinosaur fossil record is due to a
probable bias in the fossil record. Recognizing: 1) the wide geographic
range of dinosaurs and 2) the sparsity of fossizing sediments in upland
areas, it is reasonable to think the reason there are no upland dinosaur
fossils is just that few were being preserved.
Dinosaur feathers are not the same thing. There is no more reason to
believe that feathers further down the dinosaur evolutionary tree than
there is to think they were a trademark of one little twig.
Birds have adapted for flight, something only two other vertebrate
groups have ever done. It is an peculiar and signifigant adaptation that
has guided in thier evolution in a unusual direction since the
Jurassic. Contary to popular portrayal, T.rex is not just a humungous sparrow.