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Re: Tarsitano's challenges



Title: Re: Tarsitano's challenges
        It is interesting to note a different form of challenge that Tarsitano has presented recently.  In the roundtable discussion after the SICB 1999 symposium, Tarsitano spoke up to say that (paraphrasing him, IIRC) the structures on Longisquama do not look like the predecessors to feathers, or feathers, or whatever.  This seemed to stun Martin and others who were advocating Longisquama's, umm, things, as feathers/protofeathers/nonavian feathers.  Tarsitano has long advocated "thecodonts" such as Megalancosaurus, but apparently not Longisquama, as alternatives to the theropod theory.  He is one of the few, if not only, dissenters among the dissenters to the theropod theory.

        If you look closely at the some of dissenters' arguments (e.g. Ruben et al.'s "dorsoventrally compressed" theropod body vs. Feduccia's "mediolaterally compressed" theropod body) you can find similar examples.  They don't agree on everything but they seem to overlook their disagreements, in contrast to theropod theory backers who are happy to argue about any relevant detail.
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John R. Hutchinson
Department of Integrative Biology                        Phone:  (510) 643-2109
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University of California 
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