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Scipionyx liver, a reply



Marco Signore <signorem@netlab.it> has been trying to give us a
first-hand account of Scipionyx, but listproc is having trouble
recognizing him.  I tried to fix that once, but his mail server
tricked me.  Rather than make him send the message a third time, I'll
enclose it below.  The following is from Marco and not me, so respond
accordingly.

----------------------------

Dear all,
if I may say a word or two about an animal on which I'm working from at 
least four years by now, I have to defend the metodological approach used 
by Ruben and his crew. This is the first time we have a "dissected dino" 
(thank you for the example, really striking), and the best work can be done 
not on Scipionyx systematic position, but on the palaeobiology. t seems to 
me that we are steering away from the real meaning of Palaeontology here. 
Ruben is not saying that birds are not descending from dinosaur (I still 
think and say that birds ARE dinosaurs), and I wiish that everyone of you 
out there realise this. You are attacking the position about Skippy's liver 
not on the liver and internal anatomy itself, but simply keeping on saying 
that "...Ruben and his Oregon naughty naughties are saying that dinosaurs 
and birds are not related". Open your eyes and read better, please. He's 
simply suggesting what everyone of you knows since the first time he 
started his/her work on dinosaurs: they were DIFFERENT, and they were 
better than anything lived at the time. Please, take a little bit more time 
on trying to investigate new evidences from skeletons AND soft tissues, and 
a little less on sterile bickerings on where the velociraptor must be 
placed in the first and foremost cladogram. What you have here is a new way 
in dinosaur palaoebiology and you are discarding it because you don't like 
it! It seems to me that we are going back to Inquisition times! I'm not 
telling that Ruben is completely right or completely wrong. No one is 
perfect, and debate - not sterile attacks and refusals - is the lifeblood 
of science. We have evidences, then please come here and check out these 
evidences, and say your opinion. Do not judge with prejudice. 
Dinosaurs were complex and EXTREMELY diverse animals, and we have 
differences even the more compact group of mammals (think about the 
digestive system please) Then who is the last word authority to tell us 
that the line which brought to birds was different from the line which 
brood Scipionyx? How many dinosaurs we will never know? How many evidences 
we will never see? Please, consider the matter from a scientific point of 
view, this is not a war, it doesn't matter if you win or lose; but if you 
try to conduct the debate in this way, well Science loses! I may be still 
too young and too idealist, I can understand, but this is a public forum 
and I wish to say what I really think You are forgetting that less than 150 
years ago dinosarus were monsters - who imagined what we discovered? Who 
imagined that Darwin was right? You are behaving like those who believed in 
the Deluge and refused Darwin without examination. That's not fair. 
You seem to concerned to know from where x comes...but who actually cares 
how really x lived? That's palaeontology. Their life first of all.
And, BTW, Scipionyx wasn't a Velociraptor, nor similar, possibly.
Thank you kindly

Marco Signore 
University of Bristol 

P.S.
This is for Dr. Chapman: you owe me a coke. We have in Italy a Middle 
Jurassic (or possibly very early Upper) which seems to be continental and 

in which we have vertebrates. I'd like more a Fanta, for Coke is poisonous 
to me...