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RE: Longipteryx chaoyangensis (Aves, Enantiornithes?)

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Chris Collinson
> >Here, the animal is compelete and is shown covered in
> >filamentous integument and not a "true" feather in sight. These
> >filaments are preseved along both arms, around the head and
> >neck, rump and legs, and possible even between the thoracic >elements....
> Could this creature be a nestling? This would certinly explain
> the lack of
> true feather, not to mention how it came to be fossilised in the first
> place, it fell out of the nest!

Actually, the body covering of this specimen does not look that different
from many of the _Confuciusornis_ specimens I've seen.  I strongly suspect
that the difference between "protofeather" and true contour and/or wing
feather structure has far more to do with differential preservation than it
does with the original details of the plumage.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796