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Audubon article



I finally got a chance to see Virginia Morell's Audubon article (March-April
1997 issue) on the new Chinese feathered theropod.  (It is referred to as
_Compsognathus prima_ in the article: should that be changed to _C. primus_?).

Unfortunately, the close-ups on the integument are not as detailed as I'd
like (Let's get some nice, black & white low angle lighting micrographs on
it, shall we?).  The teeth are serrated (which leads to a new Feduccia-ism:
"And there's no way you can derive a pegged tooth from one that's shaped
like a steak knife."  Right.  And all theropods have huge pubic boots,
too... :-)

Also unfortunate is the fact that it's skull is pretty much squashed and
smeared: it will take sometime to reconstruct which bones are what.  Ah,
well, you can't have everything.  This critter's got a short little
scapula-coracoid and forelimb and a fairly small pelvis.  Whatever it was,
it was not particularly close to birds.

Excellent photos of some of the new oviraptorids and Velociraptor specimens
from the AMNH-Mongolian expeditions are also featured.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877