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Re: Feathers on Bloody Everything



>To quote Tom Holtz in the hall after I dropped this bomb at SVP:
>(the effect doesn't work unless you imagine him flapping his arms as he
>was...)

>"So, how do you think that Larry Martin is going to explain this away...?"

>Josh Smith

After seeing the article and photographs in Nature just a few hours ago, I
think Martin will go for the fact that there is no space between the fibers
and the bones (unlike Sinosauropteryx). Even if this can be easily
explained at the conservation level, ABC News has already something about
it (that is: Martin putting down the therizinosaur fibers as collagen
fibers).

If something so clear as the insulatory fibrous integument 'halo' of the
Sinosauropteryx' (clearly comparable to any mammal from the Messel
Formation) can be interpreted as collagen fibers, they can hold onto
anything.

The problem here is pattern and branching of the fibers and that again they
are observed as hollow...it must have been a thick coat indeed. But more
important: I have seen muscle fossil traces from roughly the same fossil
formation and in similarly preserved conditions and they have nothing to do
with the fiber traces we can see in the therizinosaur or Sinosauropteryx
specimens.
Fibers well positioned and unambiguously on top of muscle traces are
already recognizable in Sinosauropteryx, but I'm sure there will be more
and better surprises to be unveiled soon.

'Feathers' everywhere indeed. Now is up to Martin to come out with scaly
little or middle size theropods. Parsimoniously speaking... he is out.



Luis Rey

Visit my website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey