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Re: Archosaurs of a feather



I don't want to disparage one of the more distinguished journals of our era, but I'm pretty aghast that the Longisquaa paper was accepted for publication. In the paper the only link of the Longisquama appendages to feathers is due to their "plumaceous" nature. But rather than a detailed justification of why the appendage is plumaceous (which you might think would be the meat and potatoes of such a paper), they simply assert that it IS plumaceous, and then discuss the implications of this "finding." This kind of lack of substantiation of claims is unacceptible as science. For a much better example, check out the description of the Sinornithosaurus integumentary structures in the newest Nature.
The lack of morphological substantiation wasn't the only inexcusable omission in the Ruben, et al. Science paper. Other workers have cited (since at least the 70's) the Longisquama appendages as possible primitive insulation. Heck, Bob Bakker in his Scientific American article (Dinosaur Renaisance) used it as evidence that insulation might have been widespread throughout the Archosauria. None of these citations, nor their published rebuttals, were mentioned in the recent paper, and so 3 decades worth of previous discussion on the topic were completly ignored.


Scott
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