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Re: Little video blurb on the new Zuni theropods



> But dinosaurs are KNOWN to have had scales, a great majority of them.
> Mammals are not (some do have scales like armadillos, but that is of a
> different structure [...]), they have hair. We do not know for sure that
> all Dromaeosaurs, oviraptors, etc had scales or feathers. We do know that
> some had them and other theropods had scales. We can not for a minute say
> without a doubt that all small theropods had feathers or feather like
> structures.

But we should be able to say, by phylogenetic bracketing, that at least a
certain clade of theropods, at least that clade's small members, had
feathers. Whatever the rest of its composition, this clade includes
*Beipiaosaurus* (and therefore all segnosaurs if feathers evolved only
once), *Sinornithosaurus*, *Microraptor* and what-they-didn't-give-a-name
(and therefore all dromaeosaurs sensu lato), *Sinosauropteryx* (and
therefore all compsognathids, if that clade is real), *Caudipteryx* and
*Protarchaeopteryx*, which are AFAIK considered basal oviraptorosaurs,
*Archaeopteryx* and Pygostylia. AFAIK no scales that unambiguously come from
a member of this clade; scales have been found that were thought to be
tyrannosaurian, but IIRC they are all suspected to come from hadrosaurs or
suchlike, and some analyses have even found tyrannosaurs outside this clade.

> >>All that being said, I think that it has been the shock of seeing
> feathered
> non-avian dinosaurs animated for the first time which has caught the
> attention of the reporters to a greater degree than the stuff that
Kirkland
> and Wolfe (and I) were trying to hype at the press conference: a whole new
> fauna, from a period of peak sea level, etc., etc.<<
>
> Maybe because the non paleontogically inclinded aren't educated and the
rest
> of us don't have a big problem with them having feathers?

In the TV news at 1 pm -- though not in the main ones in the evening -- here
in Austria (otherwise a developing country with respect to, among other
fields, terrestrial Mesozoic paleontology), a sequence from the film was
shown, and the whole new fauna from a sparsely known time was mentioned,
though I can't recall the peak sea level. The feathers were IIRC not
mentioned (but of course shown on *Nothronychus* and the other coelurosaur).