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RE: Important feathered dinosaurs
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of
> Norton, Patrick
> >I'd like to invite you all to take off your cautious
> hats and expound a bit on what you consider the two
> most important feathered dinosaur finds to be for
> science, and why.<
> I can't speak as a scientist, but as a lay person, _Archaeopteryx
> lithographica_ would be number one on my list, specifically the Berlin
I'll second this recommendation for 1rst!
>I think number 2 will most likely be found among the
> feathered theropods coming out of Northeastern China, although for me
> it's too early for any one of the recent finds to jump out as more
> significant than the others. Perhaps second place should go to the
> "Liaoning feathered theropods", at least for the time being.
I'd actually say that _Sinosauropteryx_ is by far the most important of all
of these. _Sinornithosaurus_ and _Beipiaosaurus_ are significant (in
documenting feathers in forms which are clearly members of previously known
taxa); _Caudipteryx_ is significant in the particularly well-developed
nature of the feathers; and _Protarchaeopteryx_ as not-to significant, in
being a rather crappy specimen of no well-constrained systematic status.
_Sinosauropteryx_, however, documents the presence of these elements in a
VERY primitive coelurosaur, thus moving the origin of said structures much
lower on the family tree of the theropods.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843