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Feathers on Bloody Everything
Allan Edels wrote:
> I tend to agree with you on this George.
> In a message dated 10/5/98 7:57:50 PM EST, email@example.com writes:
> << Wait until the ?feathers? turn out to be Caudipteryx style feathers;
> Sinosauropteryx style feathers aren?t feathers at all. >>
> Actually, I kinda expect "Sinosauropteryx style feathers" to be on all
> dinosaurs, unless secondarily lost or converted into stuff like stegosaur
> plates, keeled scutes, spines, etc.
GROAN. Now every bloody artist who hasn't done it before it
going to put feathers on every critter out there. Thanks, George. I am
as excited about all of this feather stuff as the next guy, particularly
where I have been sitting rather firmly on the fence as far as avian
origins are concerned for a long while.
Now everyone is going to toat parsimony in defense of putting
feathers on EVERYTHING. At the risk of sounding like a broken record,
parsimony is an untested assumption, and systems violate it constantly.
We need to be careful in painting it across the canvas in a single swatch
of color. Just because we have feathers in one clade, doesn't
necessarilly mean that we are going to find them in all of them. I will
use the evidence that we have that physiology is not constant within and
across the entire Dinosauria as support of that last statement. I am
going to kick the first person I see who draws a downy stegasaur. Just
don't go too too crazy, OK?
Here is an interesting hypothesis that isn't new but that a few
of us were kicking around on the 10th floor of the Cliff the other night:
What if feathers (downy junk, not "real") are ontogenetic for some
theropods. Juvenile feathered allosaurs? Wow. Both Holtz and I think
that hypothesis kicks a lot of ass.
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