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Re: Meet Protopteryx: two Yixian maniraptorans in one week!

ELurio@aol.com wrote:

Isn't it funny that in the recent "refutation" of Longisumata (sic) that
what's described in (i) above was laughed off has having nothing whatsoever
to do with the evolution of feathers!

For some petty reason this bothers me, but the above is not the appropriate usage of "sic". The correct spelling is "_Longisquama_", and since the author of this statement is the one that misspelled it, the author cannot blame the incorrect spelling on somebody else. The word "sic" (Latin = thus) is used when quoting text from other sources, and has come to mean "This is what the other guy said, and I'm giving notice that I am aware that it is incorrect".

"Sic" is not shorthand for "I'm aware that this word or name is spelled incorrectly, but I don't have the time nor the inclination to look up the correct spelling". In this case put "(?)" after the incorrect spelling, i.e Longisumata (?). Or just look it up.

Sorry for the rant.  The flu has made me grumpy.

As for the avian affinities of _Longisquama_, one thing that Feduccia and friends (the birds-evolved-from-anything-but-dinosaurs camp) and everyone else agrees on is that birds evolved from archosaurs (indeed by extension, birds are archosaurs). However, one thing that is difficult to prove for _Longisquama_ is that is actually an archosaur. This has been raised before by Dr Holtz, regarding the presence (or otherwise) of an antorbital fenestra and the number of cervical vertebrae in _Longisquama_. Both characters are difficult to establish as consistent with the Archosauria.



Dr Timothy J. Williams

USDA/ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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