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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]
On Thu, 8 Feb 1996, Jeffrey Martz wrote:
> Feathers are known for birds. Scales are known for some
> dinosaurs. Feathers are known for NO dinosaurs. Might some dinosaurs
> have had feathers? Maybe. But our knowledge to date gives us no reason
> to beleive that any dinosaur had feathers, and at least a little
> indication that they did not. In light of this, dinosaurs having
> feathers is at least marginally more speculative than dinosaurs all being
> scaled, and our current system of classification should reflect this.
> Taxonomy should reflect our best knowledge to date, not the most
> aesthetically appealing speculation.
This is really a fairly pointless argument, as the presence or absence of
feathers in one dinosaur or another changes their relationships not a
bit. Our best knowledge to date is that birds are dinosaurs, and whether
or not other dinosaurs had feathers or not is irrelevant.
BTW, I do not regard feathered dinosaurs as an "aesthetically appealing
speculation." My belief (speculation, hypothesis) that some dinosaurs may
have had feathers is entirely based on phylogeny. Actually, I think
feathers would have made some dinosaurs look kind of dumb.
> LN Jeff
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S Truman