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Re: Keratin Preservation (was Ostrom Symposium)



At 10:20 AM 3/10/99 -0800, Ralph W. Miller III wrote:
>I am providing this information in the interest of clearing up some
>confusion about Mary Higby Schweitzer's work on the fossils of _Rahonavis
ostromi_
>(referred to below as "a bird from Madagascar") and _Shuuvuia deserti_
(referred
>to as "_Mononykus_").  I would appreciate learning of any further articles or
>abstracts which document this research, which, as far as I know, has yet to be
>thoroughly documented in a scientific paper.  Ultimately, Schweitzer may
publish
>papers in the 1998 Dinofest Volume or the Ostrom Symposium volume.

Or both.

>The latest cladistic analyses characterize the alvarezsaurids (i.e.
_Mononykus_)
>as nonavian dinosaurs (in contrast to earlier diagnoses which placed them
within
>Aves).  This being the case, _Shuuvuia_ can be distinguished as the fourth
>nonavian dinosaur discovered with the preserved remains of a fiber or feather
>integument.

Now, hold on there!!  Rewrite that to say "Some of the latest cladistic
analyses...".  Sereno's placed alvarezsaurids as the sister taxon to
ornithomimosaurs, but every other analysis at the Ostrom Symposium placed
then within Avialae: Chiappe's placed them within Avialae (i.e., closer to
modern birds than to _Deinonychus_), but outside of _Archaeopteryx_ + later
birds; my analysis and Norell's et al. analyses had alvarezsaurids within
_Archaeopteryx_ + later birds.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661