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Re: polarity of bipedality in dinosaurs (real long--TOO long)



George Olshevsky writes (quoting Jeff Martz):

>>      I also thought that MOST of the Archaeopteyx fossils from
>> Solholfen didn't preserve feathers at all.  Aren't there also fewer
>> fossils of Compsognathus compard to Archaeopteryx anyway?  If it did
>> have feathers, it wouldn't neccessarily be very surprising if we
>> just didn't have a specimen that preserved them yet.
>
>Feather impressions are seen on most if not all of the seven (or is it eight
>now?) skeletal specimens of _Archaeopteryx_, and the first specimen found is
>>nothing but< a feather. Indeed, it was seeing the feather impressions in the
>Dutch (Teyler) specimen (if I recall correctly off the top of my head) that
>tipped Ostrom to the fact that it had been misidentified as a non-avian for
>decades.

>If _Compsognathus__Compsognathus_ had feathers, they were almost certainly
>not the long wing-feathers seen in _Archaeopteryx_. Downy contour feathers
>would probably be it.

Please forgive me if I'm mistaken, but if the skeletal features of
_Archaeopteryx_ and _Compsognathus_ were similar enough that at least one
specimen of _Archaeopteryx_ was mistaken for _Compsognathus_ for so long
after its discovery, is it not possible that they might have had other,
external similarities (ie. feathers)?  Are the conditions under which the
specimens of both animals were deposited at Solholfen?  I know that in at
least some species of modern birds, particularly the pigeons and doves, at
least the body feathers  separate from the skin with very little effort.
This is, at least in part, a defense mechanism against predators.  Is it
possible that the feathers of one or the other animal were not very firmly
attached the skin and might have been washed or abraded away by the time the
carcass(es) was/were finally deposited in the Solnhofen lagoon(?)  Just a
question...

Andrew Howey    ajhowey@ix.netcom.com