[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Jurassic Park
On Fri, 25 Sep 1998, Larry Dunn wrote:
> ---Scott A Hartman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Randy,
> > Although it wasn't as commonly accepted at the time Jurassic Park
> > came out, Velociraptor almost certainly had a feather-like or fur-like
> > insulatory covering.
> What makes you say that, Scott?
It's *real* simple: _Sinosauropteryx_, a compsognathid, had hair-like
"proto-feathers". Birds have feathers. In pretty much every phylogeny
published recently, dromaeosaurids share more recent ancestry with birds
than with compsognathids.
+--+--_Velociraptor_ (skin impressions unknown)
It is parsimonious to assume that "proto-feathers" and feathers are
homologous. Therefore, _Velociraptor_ either had integument or secondarily
lost it. I can think of no reason why a small, non-burrowing, non-aquatic,
non-wallowing animal like _Velociraptor_ would lose integument.
Of course it's not proven, since we don't have dromaeosaurid skin
impressions, but that's why Scott said "*almost* certainly".
It is for similar reasons that we assume animals like _Ichthyornis_ were
--T. Mike Keesey <email@example.com>
DINOSAUR WEB PAGES -- http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~tkeese1/dinosaur/index.htm