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Hey Gang: Just came back from the press conference at National
Geographic this morning. Lots of press and a bunch of paleo types,
including myself, Tom the Holtz, John Ostrom with a smile, Currie, Norell,
Ji Qiang, Luis Chiappe, Jim Clark, GSPaul, Alan Brush and Peter Krantz. It
was a real love fest and the specimens are absolutely awsome. they,
along with a few others - I presume one of the Sinosauropteryx and a
Confus. included - will be on display at National geographic for a month.
Steal a car if you have to to see them. The specimens are bigger than I
thought, seem about the twice the size of big Confus. specimens and
much bigger than the Archies I can recall. Norell told me that there are
very equivalent sediments in the Gobi that they will check out. May be yet
more wonderful stuff coming down the pike from them.
It really seems that these are a huge nail in the coffin for the dino-bird
connection, and also the pre-avian origin of feathers, and probably the
ground-up theory. basically, what has happened can happen - as was
stated in the early days of plate tectonics before a mechanism was
apparent. The big shift that happened from the 2nd Caudipteryx
specimen and later analyses was the switching ot protarchaeopteryx
and Caud. on the dendrogram.
Brain Cooley, a really neat guy, did a great sculpture that is on the cover
of the National Geographic issue. It was even nicer in person.
I ask Greg what it like to be right about feathered dinosaurs and he got
the neatest grin on his face. Ostrom was pretty much floating around
with his feet about a foot off the ground he was so happy.
'Tis a great time to be a dinosaur person.