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Re: polarity of bipedality in dinosaurs

From: Andrew Howey <ajhowey@ix.netcom.com>

 > 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.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.