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Re: Feathered dinos

In a message dated 10/27/99 1:11:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Dinogeorge 

> Why is it that any fossil that doesn't fit the cladogram/theory of the day 
> is called a chimera? Not to say Archaeoraptor is or isn't one, just that 
> particular excuse is getting a little overworked (Protoavis, Avimimus, 
> Rahonavis, etc.).

Well, _Rahonavis_ does make things *a little* uncomfortable for the cladists, 
but I've never heard anyone but the Martin/Rubenites call it a chimaera.  
_Protoavis_ and _Avimimus_ are called chimaeric on independent grounds 
(principally lack of association of their elements).  From what I understand, 
there are indeed some very birdlike elements among the _Protoavis_ remains, 
but it is quite unlikely that these and the rest of the material really come 
from the single animal that Chatterjee has restored.  As for _Avimimus_, I'm 
waiting to see that new material the Japanese appear to have found.

--Nick P.