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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
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
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.