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Re: Feduccia (was: polarity of bipedality in dinosaurs)



George Olshevsky wrote:

> I don't think Greg was that specific; some kind of archaeopterygid would be
> more likely. The skull and tail of _Archaeopteryx_ are too derived to have
> been ancestral to the skulls and tails of the later dromaeosaurids. But an
> earlier archaeopterygid 
> would certainly have been a common ancestor for
> _Archaeopteryx_ and later dromaeosaurids (and likely some other maniraptoran
> groups as well). In this, Greg seems to have been correct (even though
> Feduccia calls some of Greg's ideas a "fantasy" in his new book).

     Does GSP have a paper out on this subject, besides talking about it 
in "Predatory Dinosaurs?"  One of the things I plan to look at while I'm 
researching the dinosaur metabolism debate is the connection of dinosaurs to 
birds, and the various lines of evidence about where in bird history the 
endothermy-ectothermy transition took place.
     I think the number and variety of speculations about exactly was 
involved in converting theropod into birds have pretty well illustrated 
the sheer speculativness of this subject.  To get things on a slightly 
more factual track, I'd like some feedback on:  
1. Are integument feathers NECCESSARY for endothermic thermoregulation?
2. How many Archaeopteryx/early bird specimens are known to possess them 
   (I seem to recall that a line drawing of Archaeopteryx was included in 
   the pitch to Marsh-or was it Cope?- asking if he wanted to buy the Berlin 
   specimen, which seemed to show clear integument feathers of the legs). 
3. How many theropods are known to have skin impressions?  How many have 
   definite scales, and how many show features which are very odd, and 
   possibly suggestive of feathers?

P.S.
       A christian friend of mine recently asked me how many christian 
paleontologists are out there, and how they reconcile the Bible and 
science.  I'd appreciate any feedback on the subject any of you might 
give me (respond privately so as not to clutter up the list)     

L.N. Jeff, Y.S.
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