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Ralph Miller III wrote:
>One thing that strikes me as odd is that, although this is
>apparently Chatterjee's meticulously illustrated answer to the critics who
>have been asking for a paper describing Chatterjee's interpretation of
>_Protoavis texensis_, there are neither illustrations nor photographs
>anywhere in the book to show the position of the _Protoavis_ bones in situ,
        This seems to be a common criticism of Dr. Chatterjee's work on this
animal. It is indeed frustrating that no such information is in the book. I
can only say that I believe this may be more of a lack of data than an
omission on Dr. Chatterjee's part (Dr. C. is certainly no dummy when it
comes to VP :). Since my miniscule knowledge of the situation is based
almost exclusively on third-party heresay (albeit trustworthy heresay), I
will limit my comments to printed matter and first- or second-hand observations.
        Perhaps you may find an answer to this apparent mystery in the
Acknowledgements section of _The Rise of Birds_. There, Dr. Chatterjee
thanks two former Tech students for their "serendipitous excavation [of
_Protoavis_] with a jackhammer." I've met the jackhammer. To my
inexperienced eye, it leaves much to be desired as a tool for
(near-)microvertebrate collecting (although, in fairness, that is not its
purpose). The one time I was out at Post, excavation consisted of using the
electric jackhammer to run through thick claystone overburden (and the
occasional aetosaur scute). The blocks removed were checked for fragged
bone, although by that point I'm sure that at least some taphonomic data
were already lost.
        One fragmentary specimen was recovered from "the scrap pile" in
Post. I've been through a scrap pile in Post. I found a fantastic little
metapodial, probably from an archosaur. But I couldn't give you any sort of
a site map, it was on a big pile of dirt. :)
        Later in the book, Dr. Chatterjee writes that he initially dismissed
skull elements of one of the specimens as _Coelophysis_, and set them aside
to work on more pressing matters. This may also help explain the lack of data.
        So, sadly, it appears that the data you (and the rest of us) seek
may simply not exist. It is tragic, especially considering the putative
importance of the material.

     Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
 "Only those whose life is short can truly believe that love is forever"-Lorien