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Re: The Eternal Question: Lips or Skin?



>In other words, is there more evidence that theropods didn't have lips?
>


Yes.  Living dinosaurs lacked lips.  Birds are not the only dinosaurs with
some sort of beak - oviraptorosaurians and most (all?) ornithischians also
had them, and beaks may be completely incompatible with lips.  The
morphological correlates used in the past to indicate lips are found in
lipless tetrapods.  The closest living relatives to dinosaurs
(crocodylians) lack lips.  Using DELTRANS optimization on soft tissues (the
EPB) yields the prediction that extinct nonavian dinosaurs were the lipless
Frank Burnses of their world.  Yes, evolution occurs, and we could be
proved wrong by finding, for example, a theropod preserved in amber looking
like Mick Jagger.  But the simplest prediction for now is that lips were
lacking.






------------------------
Christopher A. Brochu
Assistant Professor
Department of Geoscience
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

christopher-brochu@uiowa.edu
319-353-1808 phone
319-335-1821 fax