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ARCHAEOPTERYX BAVARICA



MY GOD. I seem to be able to email again. The party is tonight. 
Thanks to Jerry for fwding the last message - I have another big one 
to be sent, because last Saturday saw the Dinosaur Society conference 
'British Dinosaurs, their life and times' at the Lapworth Museum, 
University of Birmingham. News on that later.

To the matter in hand - that is, _Archaeopteryx bavarica_ (not 
_bavaricum_ or any other variation, I understand)...

<<I haven't been able to find many references (outside of Wellenhofer's  
original 1993 description) to the taxanomic validity of the most recent 
"second" Archaeopteryx species.  Anyone else have their thumb on the 
pulse of this issue?>>

Matt said...

> There haven't really been many.  

The few recent publications that mention _A. bavarica_ accept 
Wellnhofer's opinion that it warrants specific status. Amongst the 
experts, (unpublished) opinions vary, and though neither of the 
following comments have been published, I have heard both in personal
conversation and in public presentations: (1) that it is so 
distinctive as to possibly deserve its own GENUS (perhaps unarguable 
if you accept that _A. bavarica_ is closer to other birds than to 
_A. lithographica_), or (2) that it 'just' another _A. 
lithographica_, and evidence that sternal ossification was variable 
within this taxon.

Matt also wrote..

> The lack of an ossified sternum in _A. lithographica_ can be due to 
> the possibility that all of the _A. lithographica_ specimens were 
> juveniles

I would think that this is very unlikely, given that some _A. 
lithographica_ specimens - the comparatively enormous Solenhofen 
specimen in particular - are very much larger than _A. bavarica_ and 
provide no reliable indication from other features that they are
juvenile. 

"And if I don't see ya - - "
It was OK, but not brilliant.

DARREN NAISH (not married yet)
darren.naish@port.ac.uk