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Re: polarity of bipedality in dinosaurs
From: Andrew Howey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> George Olshevsky writes:
> >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)?
Yes, which is probably why George suggests _C._ may have had down.
> Are the conditions under which the
> specimens of both animals were deposited at Solholfen?
Solnhofen is a rather uniform set of deposits - that is why the rock
it produces is so good for lithographic plates. (You didn't think
the quarries at Solnhofen were intiated for the *fossils* did you :-))
Thus the fact that *none* of the three (I believe that is the right
count) specimens of _Compsognatus_ have any discernable feather
impressions, while most of the _Archaeopteryx_ specimens *do* have
feather impressions, is of some significance. It suggests that any
feathers on C. were rather softer, and thus less preservable, than
those on A.
The peace of God be with you.