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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

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S Truman