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Caveat (was:Re: SAUROPOD FEATHERS)
At 14.41 16/02/02 -0800, you wrote
has a "dorsal frill", Sharovipterx has scales on the tail and snout, but
smooth neck skin.
and David Marjanovic wrote:
> Sharovipterx has scales on the tail and snout, but
> smooth neck skin.
Not strictly on topic (dino feathers): but I feel that something like
"according to...." should be added to statements about these two critters.
In fact there are lots of divergent opinions . The first describer,
Ellemberger, saw "feather-like" impressions in Cosesaurus ( he thought it
was a *bird* ancestor), subsequently David Peters saw "dorsal frills" and
other similar structures (he considers it as a *pterosaur*-related
taxon) while others (Sanz, for instance) saw "nothing" at all (they think
it is simply a prolacertiform). . As far as I know and have seen, the
preservation is quite peculiar and it is extremely difficult to state what
there really is, and I for one, would share the third group (this does not
mean I dismiss Dave Peters hypothesis), to me, the impressions if ever
present, are of nothing else than sedimentary structures. For what concerns
Sharovipteryx, Unwin et al. wrote : "The integument covering the skull
,NECK (emphasis is mine) trunk .... bore small tubercular or keeled
scales". On the other hand Dave Peters has a different opinion (AFAIK he
is working on this, thus I cannot tell more) . I do not know the reference
for the naked neck (?), and having not seen Sharovipteryx first hand I do
not have any personal opinion.
What I mean here, however, is this: while we have lots of hypotheses on
these animals, the revidence is really scarce or at least highly
controversial, thus it might be advisable to be dubitative when quoting
about their features or using them to support any assumption.
All the best,
"The Wise Man is like a bamboo tree;
simple, upright, and useful, but hollow inside"
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Università degli Studi di Milano
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I 20133 Milano
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