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RE: "Feathery fossil shows birds aren't dinosaurs"



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Dinogeorge@aol.com
> Sent: Friday, June 23, 2000 12:32 PM
>
> In a message dated 6/23/00 8:29:26 AM EST, tholtz@geol.umd.edu writes:
>
> << Archosauromorphs have extra cervical vertebrae over the
> ancestral diapsid
>  condition of six: most archosauromorphs have at least 8
> cervicals, and some
>  even more.  _Longisquama_ has the primitive six.>>

[snip]

>
> I don't think you can get an accurate count of the cervical
> vertebrae in the
> specimen, because the skull seems to be pushed over the first few
> cervicals
> and may be hiding one or more of them. However, you've seen
> better shots of
> the specimen than I have.

That was something of a surprise, actually.  There is a crack in the
occipital region of the skull, and I thought at first we wouldn't be able to
get a good cervical count.  However, the shape of the neural spine shows
that the first preserved vert is a pretty typical axis, so we could start
the count from there.

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