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Re: Dino feathers discovered!!!!

Paul Davis quotes Phil Currie:

>Hi Paul: It is a neat story. And the specimen is quite spectacular. 
>Actually though,  the specimen is lowermost Cretaceous (new radiometric 
>dates) although some of the Chinese researchers believe the beds are 
>uppermost Jurassic. The beds are the same that are producing all of the 
>Confuciusornis specimens (including the ones with feathers). The little 
>dino is almost certainly a compsognathid and the feathers are relatively 
>short, preserved mostly along the neck and back with very short ones (which 
>actually look more like scales near the vent) along the top and the bottom 
>of the tail.

Oh boy, gosh, gee whiz, wow, hooray!!!  More information, PLEASE!  Is it
certain that these are really feathers, or just Pelecanimimus-type
whatever-they-ares?  And how is Al Feduccia going to explain THIS one away??

Anyway - if the dino really does have genuine homologous-to-birds-type
feathers and is a compsognathid, and if compsognathids are really not as
close to Archaeopteryx in other ways as, say, Velociraptor, that must mean
that either feathers evolved at least twice or feathers must really have
been widespread in small theropods after all, doesn't it?  That means I
don't have to retouch all my Greg Paul restorations?

If you haven't noticed, I'm a trifle excited about this....
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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