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At 08:18 AM 6/16/98 PDT, James Sutton wrote:

>Rachel Clark 
>I suppose whoever named Sinosauropteryx was opting for the other
>meaning of
>-pteryx.  I'm not sure, though.  "Feather" makes more sense, in the
>than "wing."  
>Maybe yes, maybe no. I, along with many others, question the "feather"
>nature of these structures.  An earlier post seemed to imply they were
>more like quills than feathers.  It seems to me that the name may more
>reflect the psychology, beliefs, desires, and expectations of the namer
>than the structure of the animal.

Regardless of what you think about the structures, the author's (Ji & Ji)
DID think they were feathers, and indeed thought Sinosauropteryx was a bird!
As such, they may have thought to use "-pteryx" for "feather".  (However, it
is more generally used for "wing" or "flipper").

P.S.  I'm back.  Will try to write up something about the Portuguese trip
when I get time.

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