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Combined answer: Feathered/scaly theropods: trying to make the point.
> > As for the vast majority, is this not also true for most of the
> > animals within the clade _Sinosauropteryx_ + _Passer_. Now if we want
> > to play cladistics with it and assume that those scaled animals are
> > indicative of all the rest of the dinosaurs within those clades,
> > wouldn't that then mean that scales are basal to Dinosauria and,
> > hence, the default dinosaur skin type (at least up till maniraptors)?
> No, up until Clade(_Sinosaurosauropteryx_ + _Passer_). And actually, since
> there's no information for ANYTHING in between the base of _Neotheropoda_
> and the base of Clade(_Sinosauropteryx_ + _Passer_) (except perhaps
> _Santanaraptor_), there really isn't a safe default assumption yet for
> forms such as "megalosaurs", spinosaurs, carnosaurs, etc.
BTW, *Santanaraptor*, *Scipionyx* and AFAIK *Pelecanimimus* come from
environments that didn't preserve the uppermost skin layer(s) with all its
appendages. Therefore all skin from there appears naked.
Hair on pterosaurs from Solnhofen, including *Rhamphorhynchus*, IS
occasionally preserved and has been known for 150 years or so; recent paper
on *Pterodactylus* in Neues Jahrbuch. At least the Berlin specimen of
*Archaeopteryx* did preserve some kind of contour/proto/...feathers, but
most has been prepared away to reveal the bones. Remains can still be seen
on e. g. the legs.
Why not more? Why isn't every pterosaur from there totally covered
in fur? Because the limestone there preserves _impressions_ of soft parts,
whereas Messel and Sihetun etc. preserve AFAIK carbonized remains of the
Considering "funky plants"... yes, this is indeed more probable than the
protofeathers being witchcraft. All else I could say on this has been said.
Non-dinosaurs from Liáoníng have been known for 100 years or so -- just
who's interested in fish and publishes on them in journals read by
listmembers? :-> Several beautifully preserved insects from there are lying
in the museum here in Vienna. Wings, legs, antennae, but not the slightest
Fossils from China are usually published in Chinese geology magazines and
suchlike. The new specimen of *Monjurosuchus*, however (the first one was
found in the 30s during the Japanese occupation), was published in the
relatively available Vertebrata PalAsiatica one or two years ago. I could
find the ref in the university library. The photo in that paper is really
beautiful -- a lizardlike normal-snouted champsosaur with patches of scales.
Other bird finds from there? *Changchengornis*... *Liaoningornis*...
*Songlingornis*... *Chaoyangia*... IIRC *Sinornis*... and the more recently
mentioned ones that may amount to 10 or so. All covered in whatever types of
Just why did you write "all" dinosaurs were scaly when you knew well that
_some_ at least weren't? ~:-| I didn't even imply cladistics.
*Protarchaeopteryx* and *Caudipteryx* with their remiges and rectrices are
already more than 0.
Well, I'll check out the locations. All I can say for sure now is that the
fossiliferous layers are thick, 2 formations and 3 faunal stages have been
proposed, if not more.