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Re: Feathered dinosaur in Nature



The specimen described in

MARK NORELL, QIANG JI, KEQIN GAO, CHONGXI YUAN, YIBIN ZHAO & LIXIA WANG 
(2002).  Palaeontology: 'Modern' feathers on a non-avian dinosaur.  Nature
416: 36-37. 

is figured in the catalogue of the Italian exhibit "Feathered dinosaurs
from China", published the last December. It is labeled "feathered
dromeosaur, genus and species not determined" (Dromeosauro piumato - genere
e specie non determinati). The exhibit has been in Bologna and will be in
the town of Ancona the next May and June. I have some photographs of that
specimen here on my table. Its actual Museum number results to be LPM0200
(LPM0201 is the counterslab; the usual mess). I guess that LPM0200 had to
be exposed in Italy, but at the last moment someone decided to send here
another specimen. In fact, we have here a second, similar specimen, which
is nearly surely a chimera (i.e. a composite specimen). Of course, this
does not mean that LPM0200/201 is a chimera. "Our" specimen has a
"dromeosaurian" stiff tail with a tuft of feathers at the distal end.
Pectoral girdles, hind limbs and forelimbs are truly avian in my opinion
and this is the reason I suspect it is a chimera. We will study it in detail.

When I saw for the first time LPM0200/201 last December, I considered the
feathers along the hind limbs as the overlapping long remiges of the ?right
forelimb (not feathers belonging to the hind limbs), but I saw just a good
photo and not the original stuff, thus mine is just a feeling.

Let's wait for a more detailed description.

Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia
----------------------------------
Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, PhD
Museo Paleontologico Cittadino
Via Valentinis 134
I-34074 Monfalcone
ITALY
http://www.fante.speleo.it