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Re: Tail fans

Nick P. said:

>I think a good tail fan is what is missing from feathered dromaeosaur
>reconstructions.  _Caudipteryx_ has one, _Protarchaeopteryx_ has one,
>Archie has one (and _Jurapteryx_, which I still bet is actually a
>different taxon--the arms and back are shorter, the tail and legs are
>longer, the skull is bigger, and the pattern of feathers on the tail is
>different from in _Archaeopteryx_.  Are such dramatic proportional changes
>common in modern birds AFTER they are fledged?).

Dromaeosaurs may not have had tail fans at all. Cladistics places them as a
sister group to the clade that already imcludes Caudipteryx and
Protarchaeopteryx, so it may be that tail fans did not appear until *after*
they had diverged. Let's wait for a dromie fossil with the soft parts and
imprints of the integumentary system.

Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog
Mines and Geosciences Bureau