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I just came across a F. von Huene paper from 1901 in which he describes
probable dermal armor from a specimen of Compsognathus longipes WAGNER.
This "armor" supposedly occurs as polygonal, 6-sided raised scutes
occurring on the ventral surface of the body below the scapula. Below
these scutes occur larger, square scutes preserved as impressions,
aligned in rows. Von Huene also describes vertebral elements, such as
the upward expansion and thickening of the neurapophyses, which he felt
supported his interpretation.
Does anyone know the current status of this specimen and what these
"impressions" turned out to be? I don't have any of the figures which
accompany this paper (photo and sketch) and I have never seen a
reconstruction of Compsagnathus with dermal armor. Was this a specimen
which was later assigned to Archaeopteryx? Is it possible that these
impressions were feathers or some other integuement rather than armor?
Department of Geology
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ 86001