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THAT LITTLE THEROPOD AGAIN



No, not _Sinosauropteryx_, but the juvenile dromaeosaur from the Aptian-Albian
of Benevento, Italy.

LN Jeff asks..

>      When the discussion about Velocirpator patagiums was going on, who 
> mentioned the juvinile dromeosaur skin impressions?  Do those show scales 
> or smooth skin?

A couple of people have asked me for more info on the Benevento animal. I posted
a moderately lengthy piece about it some time ago - if anyone could locate this
in the archives so I could direct others to it I'd be grateful.

[ Looks like you mean:
    http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1995Dec/0811.html
  -- MR ]

Anyhey, published photos were in a semi-technical paper by Leonardi and Terruzi
(spelling of latter probably wrong there), and also in the Italian newspaper
_Oggi_. George says that the specimen is probably representative of a new genus.
The animal (looks to be a juvenile as head and eye are proportionally large, it
is small, and the skull is short but high) preserves a kind of outline around
its bones, as do the Hans Messel birds and mammals. There is also a high content
of dark organic matter between and around bones and in body cavities. The
outline is 'fuzzy' (natural), but this doesn't tell you what the material that
has become fuzzy was. So, sorry, no info on skin or feathers or anything.

There are no feet preserved (to Jim Farlow's dismay;)), the skull bears a marked
superficial similarity (at least!) to that of _Archaeopteryx_, and the outlines
of the forelimbs can be seen clearly (and.. no propatagia). Incidentally, the
hands merely continue the line of the lower arm bones: they are not folded up.
There is what appears to be an erect tuft of feathers along the upper side of
the last third of the tail, but I think it's an artefact.

Oh, and those of you that keep emailing me about dinosaur stamps and the DCC,
I am *not* ignoring you. I just don't have the information to hand: hang in
there please.

Still tied up with moa.

"Oh Luke, we've got a malfunction in fire control"

DARREN NAISH
dwn194@soton.ac.uk