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Feathered dinosaur in Nature

At 1:55 PM -0600 3/6/02, Williams, Tim wrote:
Actually, it's tomorrow's _Nature_, since it's a British journal.  Anyway,
the latest issue of _Nature_ features this article, which will put a smile
on a few faces.

See http://www.newscientist.com/ for my news report on this very interesting discovery. You may also find a press release on the American Museum's web site (I haven't checked, but they distributed one to the press); see http://www.amnh.org

However, Prum (2002) mentioned that the specimen has barbules, and I see no mention of barbules in the paper. If barbules are established to be present (either by direct observation or inferred from the arrangement of the barbs) then the rachis-and-barbed feathers of BPM 1 3-13 would qualify as 'bipinnate'. I would guess we'll have to wait for the complete description for the resolution of that issue.

I also did not see or hear mention of barbules. The feather is symmetrical; that is a fully-formed feather without the asymmetry characteristic of flight feathers.

Jeff Hecht science & technology writer
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