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FEATHERED TAILS



A baby dromaeosaur preserved with feathers? Sam asked..

> Lastly, Darren Naish, I saw one of your talks at the dinosaur
> collector's club convention a couple of years back (it was the year 
> that Mononykus was unveilled or re-unveilled there) and you showed a 
> picture of a juvenile? dromaeosaur with a plume of integument on 
> it's tail tip.  Can you (or anyone else for that matter) identify 
> that Dromaeosaur for me please?

This was _Scipionyx samniticus_ in its original, 1993, guise. The 
animal had been described in a preliminary paper by Leonardi and 
Teruzzi (also appeared about the same time in the Italian newspaper 
_Oggi_), but in their photographs appeared with bogus hind limbs and 
a tail that the ?collector had added (in reality, the specimen is 
missing its hindlimbs and its tail (see Dal Sasso and Signore 1998)). 
In the talk I discussed what integument was then known from small 
theropods. It was intimated that a leaf-shaped impression at the end 
of the fake _Scipionyx_ tail >>>might<<< be something to do with 
feathers.. of course, this turns out to be not the case at all. And 
at the time I thought _Scipionyx_ was a dromaeosaur (search the 
archives for 'Benevento juvenile theropod' to see my original 
report).

At the same meeting I unveiled a rather imaginative restoration of a 
feathered _Alvarezsaurus_, which was fun (when you consider the 
length of _Alvarezsaurus_' tail!).

"You are obliged to take prisoners"

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
P01 3QL                               [COMING SOON: 
http://www.naish-zoology.com]