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Re: The beak of C. dui

  I'm probably reaching my limit on public emails
today, and if not, Mickey can tell me if so. However,
I had not considered fully the sexual dimorphism
possible in *Confuciusornis*, as pointed out privately
by a fellow listmember, so I will therefore attempt to
present my position on _this_ aspect of the thread.

   Now, again, it is possible there _are_ two species
of *Confuciusornis* in the Jehol fauna we are having
such fun reading about (or in Josh Smith's envious
case, being there). But the holotype of *C. dui* is a
long-tailed, hypothetically male specimen, and some
specimens I have seen photographs (well, slides) of
specimens with strait beaks (keratinous, these) also
having long streamer tails, so I am not entirely
convinced that the beak is indicative of a gender, or
even species. Who knows. My original proposal was to
do a more comprehensive analysis of the specimens to
see if there was a natural separation or localization
of certain morphologies, and this would really be the
best evidence for specific variation.


Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

Qilong---is temporarily out of service.
Check back soon.

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