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RE: Feathered dino scandal

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Hitt@aol.com
> Weren't there three "feathered dinosaurs" on display at the Smithsonian?.
> Even if Archaeoraptor liaoningensis is a mistake, what about the
> integrity of
> the other two?

There is no serious question about the other two (_Sinornithosaurus_, a
dromaeosaur; _Beipiaosaurus_, a therizinosauroid).  And it was the National
Geographic Explorers' Hall, not hte Smithsonian.

And, of course, the earlier specimens of _Sinosauropteryx_, _Caudipteryx_,
and _Protarchaeopteryx_ are in existence, too.

The greatest shame about that "Archaeoraptor" affair was that National
Geographic made such a big deal of it in the published version of their
article, in the press conference, and in their exhibit.  Because it is an
unpublished specimen it has had zero (0) effect on the study of bird origins
ans feather origins.  Instead, the other two critters which were on display
were MUCH more significant scientifically: clearly members of
well-established groups of non-avian theropods, with protofeathers.

However, _Sinornithosaurus_ and _Beipiaosaurus_ aren't as "pretty" as
"Archaeoraptor", so I suspect that is why they didn't get most of the
attention.  A shame, because the prettiness of "Archaeoraptor" is almost all

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843