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Sinosauropteryx paper translation online
The Stone Company web site has published an English translation of a paper
by Ji and Ji from the 1997 volume of _Chinese Geology_. This is not the
original 1996 description of the type specimen (GMV2123) by Ji and Ji, but
a follow-up paper which compares the first two specimens. The translation
is crude, and there are typos, and no illustrations. (Sample quote:
"numerous scandal vertebras" should read "numerous sacral vertebrae"). You
can read the article at
Aside from the controversial assessment that _Sinosauropteryx_ should be
considered a member of Aves, the most primitive bird, on the basis of its
feathers, there are other points of interest.
Regarding the feathers:
"It should be pointed out that a cross section of feather axes are found.
Feather pulps and sheathings are near round or oval, and distributed in
concentric pattern (Plate 3, Covering page 3)."
The immature type specimen, (GMV2123), is said to have feathers which are
"short" with "no differentiation." The second, larger specimen, (GMV2124)
is said to have feathers which are "large, foliated, with axes."
"If the positive (original) specimen is hard to believe to be a bird, due
to its short and not differentiated feathers, then the large feathers in
the new specimen proves that the Sinosauropteryx is a bird."
It is fortunate that the paper has been translated and distributed freely
online; it is unfortunate that the translation is garbled and that there
are no figures to accompany the text. I suppose that "Plate 3" refers to a
photograph of the cross-section of one of the thicker, hollow fibers found
in the vicinity of the second specimen, but not in contact with the
skeleton. These thicker, hollow fibers (which are more scarce than the
fibers that are preserved in contact with or just adjacent to the
fossilized bones) are suspected by Philip Currie to be remnants of a short
rachis for the plumulaceous protofeathers in _Sinosauropteryx prima_. No
western journal has published this cross-section, and Ji, Ji, and Currie's
assessment that this represents a rachis is controversial. Currie
projected this image at his _Sinosauropteryx_ talk at the 1997 SVP meeting
It would be nice to see an English translation of the original 1996
description. It's looking like paleontology students should be studying
Mongolian and Chinese languages and alphabets, the better to collaborate
with the scientists who live and work in Asia!
-- Ralph Miller III email@example.com
Could someone please translate the translation?