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Re: feathers, hair and Compsognathus



At 05:18 PM 10/18/96 -0500, Paul Davis wrote:
>In the mean time I
>am going to continue to play Devils Advocate -'cos i enjoy it!

   Better be careful ... sometimes people won't make a distinction between
the devil and her advocate.  :)

   Myself, I simply don't understand this idea that the rule of parsimony,
which I've never seen a definition for (doesn't mean one hasn't been given),
REQUIRES that dinosaurs be considered unfeathered.  I would think we would
look to the dinosaurs' closest living relatives for clues about their
integument, and those living relatives are feathered ... therefore I would
think the logical conclusion is dinosaurs ... at least theropods ... had
feathers.  The few skin impressions we had up to this point were of the
larger forms ... hadrosaurs, tyrannosaurs, etc. ... which, if TODAY'S large
animals are any indication, would have lost most of their feathers just as
elephants, rhinos, hippos and whales have lost most of their hair.

   When scientists reconstruct extinct mammals, they look to today's hairy
mammals and give them hair.  When scientists reconstruct extinct elephants,
hippos and rhinos they look to today's almost naked skinned examples and
make them naked skinned (with a few notable examples, the "woolies").  Why
is this not done, then, with dinosaurs?

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