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Re: Dino feathers discovered!!!!

On Thu, 10 Oct 1996, Ronald Orenstein wrote:

> 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??

   1)  Convergence
   2)  Plesiomorphy from the shared thecodontian ancestor of birds and 
   3)  Conspiracy, misidentification, wishful thinking.

> 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....

   I'm not so much excited about it.  I've suspected all along that AT 
LEAST all maniraptors had feathers or some sort of integument.  Small 
dinos being similarly accrutremented is a logical idea.  Given the 
possible fur of pterosaurs and the "feather things" of longisquama, the 
suspicion that feather like things (I'm just the king of terms today) is 
plesiomorphic has always been in the back of my mind.

   Come to think of it, I think I talked about all this in an article I 
wrote for DOL.....

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