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_ARCHAEOPTERYX_ FEATHERS



Stan Friesen wrote:

> This brings up an interesting point about the preservation of Archie.  Are
> any feathers other than the flight-related feathers actually preserved in
> any specimen?  As I remember the specimens, the preserved feathers are
> mainly, or entirely, the wing and tail feathers.  Am I right, or has
> looking at plaster casts through glass deceived me?

Feduccia's THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF BIRDS has (on page 31) a
reproduction of a sketch with the following caption:

"Pencil tracing of the Berlin specimen of _Archaeopteryx_ in the Yale
University Archival Collection, showing the presence of contour feathers on
various parts of the body, including the throat, back, breast, and legs,
which were apparently prepared away. The specimen is labeled at the upper
right as Urvogel/ "Ratseleidesche" (original bird/"riddle lizard"). This
sketch was included with a letter dated 7 March 1879, from F.A. Schwartz of
Nuremberg, offering to sell the "Berlin _Archaeopteryx_" and a collection
of Solnhofen fossils to Yale's Peabody Museum. This letter and sketch were
discovered in August 1983 by Miriam Schwartz, secretary to John Ostrom.
This specimen shows that _Archaeopteryx_ most likely had a complete
covering of contour body feathers. (Courtesy John Ostrom and Peabody Museum
of Natural History, Yale University)"


Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)