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Re: Feathers on Bloody Everything

In a message dated 5/28/99 2:04:11 AM EST, ornstn@home.com writes:

<< And my apologies to George if he is referring to actual physical evidence
 that has emerged since the Ostrom Symposium - if he is, I'd sure like to
 hear about it! >>

No, I'm just arguing an alternative viewpoint to the standard one being 
advanced by the dinosaurological majority. I never fall into lockstep with 
everyone else unless there's compelling evidence to do so. Right now, we have 
>absolutely no idea what protofeathers might have looked like<. The 
featherlike structures seen on dinosaurs like Sinosauropteryx et al. are 
>different from< the flight feathers of Archaeopteryx and other birds; that's 
>all< we know. It is a premature misnomer to call them "protofeathers," since 
they appear on animals >younger than< Archaeopteryx--which had perfectly 
good, very modern-looking feathers. These integumentary structures could just 
as easily have been secondarily derived from modern feathers (e.g., down) as 
they could have been integumentary structures retained unchanged from their 
protofeather form. Calling them "protofeathers" places an unwarranted bias 
into the minds of listeners pro the current cladistic rage of "ground-up" 
avian evolution.