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Buffetaut about the spikey psittacosaur

The latest Nature has a short letter by Eric Buffetaut (p. 147) about the
infamous "feathered
 Psittacosaurus specimen.  He did have a chance to examine it directly at
the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan.  His conclusion was that the
integumentary structures were real, and that they were apparently different
from feathers & protofeathers in detail.

The scientists at Milan, in collaboration with Chinese scientists, would
have done a study of the specimen, after which it would have been returned
to China.  For reasons unknown the plan failed: no joint study will be done,
and the present whereabouts of the specimen are unknown to Buffetaut.

Here's hoping that someone finds ANOTHER of these specimens, gets it
properly into an institution, and gets around to publishing the details.

                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