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Horse feathers?

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

>The skin impressions appear very similar to those of adult sauropods.
>We now have data to show sauropods lacked > feathers/proto-feathers/whatever
>prior to hatching, and as adults.  Until such time as we find positive
>evidence feathery juvenile sauropods, we should work under the >assumption
>that they weren't feathered at any part of their life cycle.
>This is the data end.  What this implies about the thermal ecology of >baby
>sauropods is another question entirely.

Yet aren't many birds born completely naked? I've seen many a pink,
squawking, and down right ugly hatchling. Of course such hatchlings
are entirely dependant on their parents for thermo regulation. I
find the image of sauropod brooding a messy and disturbing one indeed.

Does anyone know how close the eggs were to hatching, and if they
were close do the embryos suggest independantly mobile hatchlings
like those of most fowl, or utterly helpless ones? If it is the former,
and they lack any indication of insulation, then it would seem that
the evidence for feathered sauropods is unlikely. However the latter
might leave room for the development of insulation some time after
hatching (straw-clutching duly noted).

P.S. (Subject line courtesy of the Marx brothers, for those mystified)

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: