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Re: Feathered Dinos



O.K.  So this is going to sound like a stupid question, but...

My understanding of a chimaeric organism is one in which the specimen is
actually
composed of the parts of different specimens (like the aforementioned
dromaeosaur
head, avian torso, and alvarezsaurid hindlimbs, or the chicken with the
brain of
a quail).  In chimaeric fossil specimens it would seem like you would
find this
accusation in association with a jumble of bones (like in river or
stream habitat
where the bones of several animals may have washed down stream & gotten
stuck on
a log, or in situations where a predator may have a lair & deposits
different
prey species there).  In situations where the specimen is layed out in a
death
pose on a slab, the way Archaeoraptor appears to be (from the Nat.
Geogr.
pictures on the web-page--not the best views, but..), how can it be
thought of as
a chimaeric animal?  This would almost sounds like another Piltdown man,
but
several of the leading vertebrate paleontologists (Phil Currie comes to
mind)
have looked at this and concluded that it is indeed a feathered
dinosaur. Have
others had the chance to do an in-depth examination of this specimen?  I
guess my
question is, how can a specimen in natural orienation (all bones in
positions
that they would normally have been in, rather than jumbled up) be
chimaeric?
Probably a stupid question, but something that has me a little
perplexed.

Thanks for your time,

Casey




Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 10/27/99 3:02:00 PM EST, NJPharris@aol.com writes:
>
> << I don't know if I should be the first to mention it, but it was
suggested
>  numerous times at SVP that Archaeoraptor is itself a chimaera.
> Specifically,
>  the head looks (to me) dromaeosaurid or troodontid, the torso like
that of a
>  bird, and the feet like a tiny avimimid or mononykine.  The tail
looks like
> a
>  rather unnatural long, stiff rod. >>
>
> 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
this
> particular excuse is getting a little overworked (Protoavis, Avimimus,

> Rahonavis, etc.).