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Isle of Wight Museum / Pal. Ass.

The Isle of Wight has had its new museum funding passed.  I never thought it
would happen.

Went to the Pal. Ass. annual meet, this year at Porstmouth Uni.  (Decided
it's no good trying to be scientifically macho and sitting assiduously
through the algal mats, fish tails etc.!  I'm not even going to pretend in
future - it'll be straight off to the canteen/library!)

....There was one good one I remember though...

Very entertaining talker; a good topic: deinonychosaur hand morphology;
snazzy american accent; put up an up to the minute Greg Paul deinonych
slide... and then said:
"Whatever Sankar Chattergee or Greg Paul may say, we now know that bird
flight evolved in cursorial ....."

(As soon as the first volant troodontid arives, I'm going to send him a card
every day for a week reminding him of this!!)

The talk was about how the third (the outside) digit in deinonych. hands
probably went *under* the feathers springing from the middle digit (amongst
other things).

Afterwards I asked him why maniraptorans had these specialised hands when
their J & T predecessors didn't need them, and he said he didn't know why,
but they gradually arose over time, particularly the smaller ones.


Oh, and there's a chap talking tomorow who says the Cretaceous parrot is
wrong; it's only the later tertiary parrots it resembles, the earlier
parrots were rather different.  It's internal canals resemble those of some
parrots, but not others, and just because it doesn't exactly match the
caenagnathids (oviraptor type stuff) we know of, that doesn't mean there
weren't unknown ones it could have matched.  He also suggested that, though
we have no reason to doubt its provenance, it had been dug up years ago and
had been stored in a box marked "Lance formation", and of course, mistakes
can happen...

I think it looks far too smooth to be a caenagnathid.  It don't know about
whether it was misplaced though.