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Re: Sinornithosaurus in Nature

Possibility 1 seems to be out of the question even for BANDits. Number 2 -- sure it is a bird, and so are Deinonychus, Troodon, Ornithomimus and Tyrannosaurus! =8^) I'm quite sure nobody (no scientists at least, and the BANDits are all scientists, no matter how good or bad scientists they are) will take number 3 into account -- nobody did when any of the feathered nonavian theropods were discovered in the first place, and if Feduccia would claim Sinornithosaurus to be a fraud, this would end like Sir Fred Hoyle's claim on Archie, which means he could just as well commit suicide. So probably BANDits will either say that nonavian dinosaurian feathers are the strangest of all convergences on the planet, further clinging (scansorially B-) ) to embryology and Megalancosaurus, or ABSRD will die (doubt it). More probable IMHO is that BANDits will stay calm for a few months, as they did after the descriptions of Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx -- and have there yet been any ABSRD statements on Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus and Microraptor? --, and then try to disprove everything at once (and fail in that), only to continue the debate for another 20 years.
Desperately waiting for the paper :-)
BTW, the Nature article "An Early Cretaceous pellet" has arrived -- Bird 1 has very large claws on its 2nd toes, comparable (off the top of my head) to Rahonavis).
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 9:59 PM
Subject: Sinornithosaurus in Nature


1.  The structures are collagenous fibers (despite the fact that the paper was discussed with Peter Stettenheim, who ought to know a feather when he sees one)
2.  Sinornithosaurus is a bird
3.  The authors have committed a fraud.

One interesting point: Feduccia (or whoever) cannot use the argument that a "real" ornithologist would know better.  Richard Prum is a genuine, card-carrying ornithologist known for his work on suboscine passerines.