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The Eider Dino and dinos in japan



Dear All,
Another report on the feathered dino in the (London) Times 28/10/96 by
Nigel Hawkes

Fossil bird is grounded 

The new fossil bird found in China and reported in The Times ten daysago
turns out to be feathered, but not a flyer. Sinosauropteryx prima,the name
given to it by Ji Qiang of the Chinese Geology Museum, isabout half a metre
long, and has a back covered in downy feathers. 

Dating of the sediments where it was found shows it to be 120 million years
old, not quite as old as the first bird, Archaeopteryx. The find backs the
idea that birds are the descendents of dinosaurs, and that dinosaurs were
warm blooded, developing feathers to keep them warm.
Only later did the feathers prove an effective means of taking to the air. 

BTW In a posting by George he refers the name of Sinosauropteryx to Hawkes
in his newspaper article of 11 Oct.  Actually the first report I have
seen/read  naming the fossil is K. Hakuda (or K. Hakuta - as the da/ta
kanji symbol is the same but in certain instances pronounced differently)
in the Tokyo Shimbun (translation- Tokyo Newspaper) on the 9 Oct.  I have
the feeling that the name was reported  a day earlier in another Japanese
newspaper but I haven't seen the article.

Whilst on the subject of naming Barsbold announced the names of 2 new
species of Oviraptor from Mongolia last week here in Japan - unfortunately
I haven't seen the newspaper reports does anyone else have any more info? 
The naming occurred at the opening of an exhibition of Mongolian dinosaurs
at a musuem here in Japan. I off to see the exhibit next week I let you
know what i find.
Also a prefectural museum has just opened here (last week) and boy have
they got some good dino stuff (it mainly real bone-probably composite
skeletons) just a few things I noticed when I visited whilst they were
building the place last month-
4 mounted genera of sauropods (they had to build the hall around them!)
2-3 mounted theropods including a velociraptor and an allosaurid
A partially excavated triceratops and associated quarry - the whole lot has
been transported lock-stock and horn cores includung dust, shovels and
weeds. You walk over the display on a glass floor!
and loads of other very very groovy vert. stuff
Unfortunately I didn't get much time to look in detail as I was dodging
Japanese workmen and trying to look at some bird material. I'll let you
know more when I have visited.  Just as an aside the whole museum was built
and supplied with specimens in 1 year!!!!  The specimens are yours if you
have 20 million yen to spend (100yen = 113 US cents).

Paul
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Dr. Paul G. Davis
Division of Vertebrate Palaeontology, National Science Museum, 3-23-1
Hyakunin-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169, Japan.
 
e-mail davis@kahaku.go.jp
Tel + 81 3 3364 2311
Fax. + 81 3 3364 7104
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