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Re: A therizinosauroid dinosaur with integumentary structur


> Even closely related genera may have differed in this respect.
> _Sinosauropteryx_ (a compsognathid) did have a bristly body covering,
> _Compsognathus_ apparently did not.

The Yixian formation and the Solnhofen limestones represent distinct
depositional environments.  I do not believe that it is fair to assume
that _Compsognathus_ had no filamentous integument just because there is
no strong fossil evidence of filaments on the two known specimens.  There
is likewise no record of _Compsognathus_ tubercles, so these two fossils
available tell us nothing about the integument.  Just as paleontologists
have deduced that _Compsognathus_ most likely had three digits per manus
(hand) as _Sinosauropteryx_ did -- in spite of the fact that many of the
manual elements are missing from the _Compsognathus_ specimens and prior
restorations often featured a didactyl manus -- so, too, there is good
reason to believe that _Compsognathus_ may have sported a filamentous
integument, because its nearest known relative, _Sinosauropteryx_, did.
This hypothesis may turn out to be wrong, but there is no proof that
_Compsognathus_ lacked a filamentous integument.

-- Ralph W. Miller III       gbabcock@best.com