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SAUROPODS AND FEATHERS



archosaur@reptilis.net wrote:
<<I do think it is pertinent to mention that only maniraptors have been found with fuzz. No other coelurosaurs have shown this. In fact, those that have had impressions found (i.e. the tyrannosaur impressions, and yeah, I know it's another big guy) have all shown scales. So, it would seem that maniraptora would be the starting point for this fuzz stuff, not coelurosauria.>>

Sinosauropteryx, as has been stated onlist before, is a mess.  IF it is a Compsognathid, it would probably fall outside of Maniraptora SS.  Some have suggested (at SVP) that there may in fact be multiple species in the hypodigm known as Sinosauropteryx prima, and some may well be outside of Avetheropoda.

<<That "brooding" _Oviraptor_ looks more like an animal that was crushed while on top of its eggs, rather than one that was sitting there and incubating them. It very well could have just been protecting its eggs when the sandstorm/avalanche killed it. There are non-avian examples of animals that do this. As such, stating that the superficial position of this _Oviraptor_ is clear cut proof of dino-avian ancestry is really stretching it.>>

If there was only one Oviraptor found on its eggs in that position, then ya, maybe it was crushed in a sandstorm and just happened to be on a nest.  The fact that there are two specimens (that's more than 10% of the sample size) in almost the exact same position argues that what was recorded probably is a behavioral trait.  The only animals I know of that sit on their eggs in a fashion remotely similar to Oviraptor are birds, so again, I don't think it's a stretch at all to say that this fossilized behavior is indicative that modern birds are descended from theropods like Oviraptor.

<<As HP Adam Edels already stated, these embryos are so well preserved that one really can see the scale impressions inside them.
...
When it was first announced there were quite a few pictures accompanying the news story. One of them does show these impressions.>>

I can hear Ricky Ricardo now...  "Lucy! you got some 'splainin to do!"

When these embryos were first anounced and we were shown photos of them at SVP there were absolutely no scales found in association with any bones period.  Similarly I did not recall news of any being found in association with any bones since then.  I was apparently wrong about this and I'm sorry (having visions of bullatosaurs dancing in my head).

Pete Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com