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Re: [Re: Feathered/scaly theropods: trying to make the point.]

On 06/23/2001 archosaur@usa.net wrote:

> It should also be noted that these bunch of "feathered" dinos all came from
> the exact same location; which is more than just a little suspicion if you
ask me.

To quote National Geographic (May 2001, p. 91):
"Pterosaur skeletons were so delicate that they survived as fossils only when
their corpses came to rest in a protected environment. For that reason most
pterosaur remains come from species that lived near the ocean - the soft
seafloor oozed entombed their bodies for eternity."

As was pointed out earlier on this list the majority of pterosaurs were found
in formations which provide excellent preservation (Lagerstätten). These are
either marine environments, lakes or lagoons.

The same applies to small (nonavian) dinosaurs and birds and also the
preservation of integumentary structures. Liaoning is such a lucky case, a
formation at the right place and the right time. Up to now there's no other
(known) formation with such a superb preservation of fossils and richness of
dinosaur fossils.

If feathery integumentary structures where added later on due to vagaries of
the process of fossilation? Then we should have found also some other groups
of "feathered" fossils (e.g. frogs). But so far only (nonavian) dinosaurs and
birds where found with such.

Another point, how would you explain that the integument of birds where
preserved correctly, while that of (nonavian) dinosaurs wasn't?

In this case I think what we really must be suspicious of are possibly fake
fossils (e.g. Archaeoraptor). With much money involved fossils must be
carefully examined before any public announcement. So it's better to "Wait
for the paper".


Heinz Peter Bredow