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PADIAN ON FLIGHTLESSNESS etc
> We honestly do not know the function of the feathers of
> different non-flying dinosaurs, and of course (as with modern animals)
> any structure could have multiple functions.
Did anyone notice Padian, Ji and Ji saying (in _Mesozoic Vertebrate
Life_) that the complex feathers of the Liaoning theropods was perhaps
most easily explained by these taxa being secondarily flightless? Their
only counter-argument to this conclusion was that this scenario is
'apparently not parsimonious in a cladistic framework' (or some such)!
They cited a Sereno paper. I'm surprised as I expected them to provide
somewhat less subjective counter-arguments to the notion of
While I'm here: learnt on Tuesday that _Dinosaurs of the Isle of
Wight_ has become the Palaeontological Association's best-selling
book ever, despite it only being out for six months. Thanks to all who
bought it (most sales came from the US) - maybe we'll get to do a
second edition. I hope so as many mistakes have come to light and new
work (e.g. Bill Blows' on stegosaur armour, Cadbury and others - plus
ongoing research - on Mantell's work) means that much of it needs
updating. Incidentally, Cadbury is far from the last work on the work
of Gideon Mantell....
And hooray for _Djarthia_, boo-hoo _Pulchrapollia_.
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