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Re: Sci. Am. - present. [long]

>Rich Kissel and Jonathan R. Wagner write:
>        We mean no offence to Dr. Orenstein. We would simply like to
>encourage a bit more rigour on the dinosaur list. Whatever _Protoavis_ turns
>out to be, the statements we make here and now will someday show us to be
>either free-thinking careful observers or something else entirely. Let us
>strive for the former.

No offense taken, and I am delighted to hear that the specimen is in better
shape than I had been led to believe.  However, I still think it is a fair
statement that the quality of preservation is not up to that of the
Solnhofen, which was (from what I have read) quite exceptional.  Had it
been equivalent, for example, it might have been possible to see feather
impressions, if Protoavis had any feathers.  My general point was that
there is nothing quite so good as the Solnhofen from the lower
Jurassic-Upper Triassic, and this may explain why w haven't found an
unequivocal Archaeopteryx ancestor-type yet.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net