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Re: Another feathered dino?



Royan Webb wrote:

>The book is:
>The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs
>April 1990 edition
>
>"There were fused wrist bones, and probably clawed fingers on the 'wings'
> - short, feathered arms that could be folded like a bird's"

Although S. Kurzanov interpreted Avimimus as being feathered, there is no
direct evidence of feathers on the skeleton.  There is an unusual crest
along the bottom of the ulna, which Kurzanov interpreted as equivalent to
the quill nodes of flying birds.  However, I do not know of any bird with
such a ridge, and do not expect that the structure in Avimimus could have
served the same functional puporse.

On the other hand, Avimimus may very well have been more closely related to
birds than was Sinosauropteryx, so it could have very likely have been
feathered.

>I thought the fuss was because of the feathers on a non bird, or was
>it in part due to the greater age ?

The fuss is because (to most of us, anyway) the structures in the new
Chinese specimen are clearly feathers, whereas there was no indication of
such in Avimimus.

>Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

...Or get poked in the side. :-(

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"There are some who call me...  Tim."
-- Tim the Enchanter, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
---------- subtitle --[Monty Python ik den Holy Grailen]

"Tim?!?  They called me TIM?!?!"
-- Tom the Paleontologist, on seeing "The Ultimate Guide to T. rex" :-)