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Re: Sinornithosaurus & Caudipteryx feathers



"T. Mike Keesey" wrote:

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't _Apteryx_ (a paleognathan neornithean)
> feathers even simpler than those of _Sinornithosaurus_?

Actually, from a superficial point of view kiwi feathers look to me rather like
the one dissociated _Sinornithosaurus_ feather depicted in Figure 4 in the paper
by Xu Xing et al.  Kiwis are usually described as "hairy" or "shaggy" in
appearance, but their slim feathers (those readily visible at a glance) do have
short barbs all along their length, much like the inferred _Sinornithosaurus_
feather structure.  I do not know, however, whether kiwi feathers have
noninterlocking barbules on their barbs (as ostrich plumes do).  Many of the
other _Sinornithosaurus_ filament structures appear to be fibers which join at
their bases, like down feathers.  In any case, given the limited resolution the
_Sinornithosaurus_ specimen affords us, I don't think that small noninterlocking
barbs can be ruled out for this dinosaur, although so far as I know there is no
evidence for them at this time.


> -- Ralph W. Miller III   ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu