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LONGISQUOMA



George Olshevsky wrote:
<< Given the presence of a furcula and featherlike dermal structures, not to 
 mention a fairly theropodlike skull, it is surprising that there is so much 
 resistance to considering Longisquama to be a small theropodomorph. 
 >Anything< but (Heaven forbid!) that it should be a kind of small, arboreal 
 theropod. >>

Although I agree with a lot of points about George's BCF theory, and I am 
glad that many people are coming around to face reality, I have to differ on 
his interpretation of Longisquoma.  Having seen some very good quality 
photos, and a cast of the type of Longisquoma at SVP99, I am not entirely 
convinced that the "featherlike dermal structures" belong to Longisquoma, or 
are even animal in origin.

The specimen is unfortunately a roadkill and each of those structures is 
splayed out every which way, none of them actually in contact with the body.  
Jap Hillenius' explanation that the structures formed two horizontal "wings" 
growing from the transverse processes is a strained interpretation to say the 
least.

In any case, there are some new specimens of Longisquoma which consist only 
of the "featherlike dermal structures" totally devoid of any other body 
parts.  Each structure has a single vein through the center and a wrinkled 
surface, reminding me more of certain fern fronds than anything else I've 
ever seen in nature, and are far from "featherlike" save their gross outline.

Pete Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com