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Re: Meet Protopteryx: two Yixian maniraptorans in one week!
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
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014
Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax: 515 294 3163
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