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John Ruben and The Phantom Menace.

Gosh... not again! Ruben even on Radio 3 as I was having breakfast!
Isn't it a bit worrying that some people can  mobilize all this
publicity machine on the basis of a very incomplete fossil that almost
nobody can get a clear picture (unless you have an excess of imagination
that is...)?

I have seen the best photographs of the fossil (shown by Ruben at the
SVP).... in the Science article they do it again (the Scipionyx and
Sinosauropteryx lessons didn't teach them anything) . They are making
throroughly detailed scientific descriptions of phantom traces of
structures that could be anything. The descriptions they are doing of
supposed 'feathers in the developing stages of Longisquama' are not of
the fossil traces themselves, but  about ideas  that in turn are about
ideas of supposed organic structures based on creatures living today.
So on the basis of such dubious interpretation and using an incomplete
specimen (the whole back of Longuisquama including the legs and tail
continues to be unknown), they have chosen to ignore and wipe out all
the hard work, anatomical comparisons and hard data compiled by so many
researchers that is showing with tons of hard evidence that dinosaurs
and birds are inextricably linked.
Not only that, their interpretations can be interpreted in a totally
different way: Let's suppose those structures on the back of
Longiusquama are feathers (that they are NOT... a hollow ridge is
enclosing the whole structure  and  the supposed branching ...everything
is more like an insect's wing). Let's suppose that one day we find the
rest of Longisquama and finally becomes a fully understood archosaur...
close to bird AND dinosaur ancestry... the most this will do is to
actually give a total boost to George Olshevsky's BFC theory and confirm
that originally all dinosaurs descended from arboreal animals,  were
feathered and that the Sinosauropteryx bristle coverage is just modified
feathers like a kiwi.
Who knows!  Those long  Longisquama back 'feathers' are simply analogous
to Stegosaurus plates!
Why would they opt for the 'birds are not dinosaurs' hypothesis?
Feduccia talking about delusional fantasies... why? Is he not talking
about his own? With the kind of science he is standing for he  has a
better chance to become part of the next Fantasyland ride.  Are they so
desperate for publicity?

On the other hand, I suspect it might be easily  proven that the whole
thing is full of hot air and what Ruben has found is the true ancestor
the legendary Chinese Dragons (with those charming wings on their backs)
or of those winged creatures from Star Wars, the Phantom Menace.

Luis Rey

Visit my website on http://www.ndirect.co.uk/~luisrey