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VIRUS & ARCHAEORAPTOR
I am in a rather unique position in this whole Archaeoraptor debacle. I know
who sold it; I know who 'identified it' as being scientifically important
(I'll get to that shortly), and I know who bought it. One thing that bothers
me is how so many people saw it and didn't recognize it as being a
composite. I really wish I had seen it first because I would have told the
Czerkas not to bother with it and save them some hassle (but in the long run
its opened up some opportunities that they wouldn't have had before, as seen
at the Gray's Museum Theropod Symposium).
At first glance you can see the legs are splade out and the tail starts
where the femoral heads are. This is totally incorrect. There would have
been a sacrum, then a few 'loose' caudal vertebrae then the stiffen tail
vertebrae. This shows that not only did who ever made the composite doesn't
know his anatomy, but also the person who 'identified it' as being
scientifically important! I just spent some time with him and listening to
his take on the whole debacle. He's upset that he was never listed as the
one who 'found' the specimen and all the credit went to the Czerkas's. If I
were him I would have preferred not to have been identified because of what
has happened. He really doesn't know the anatomy (but is a good
preparatory). Perhaps they were just caught up in the moment of the find.
This is not to say the specimen ISN"T important, it is (but I'm sure the
broadcast will not mention that). The front half (which seems to be lost in
the mess) is from a New Genus of Bird and that is the important part of the
specimen, while it is the back half that has caught the attention of
everyone. Lest not forget that Storrs Olsen has deemed the back half as
being Archaeoraptor, which is the same as Microraptor and has, for now,
priority over the specimens.
I'm sure the BBC will screw things up and make it sound as scientific fact.
Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171
Poway Ca 92074