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Re: Yixian Protoavians.

Nicholas Gardner wrote-

> Has GMV2124 (?="Sinosauropteryx") been published yet?  If so, is the paper
> available on the internet?

Not completely, but parts are described in-
Padian, K., Ji, Q., and Ji, S.-A. (2001) Feathered dinosaurs and the origin
of flight: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and
Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, p. 117-135.
And there are a couple photos I took of it-

> Figure 2A seems to show that Protopteryx had a plume of feathers on the
> of the skull.  When (not "if", I'm being positive) I get around to drawing
> this bird, how should I draw this?  Am I wrong and these are just
> feathers that aren't a crest?

It's probably not a crest, as feathers in Yixian remains seem to be
preserved like this quite often- as halos around the fossil.  Probably due
to natural processes after death and the preservation environment.

> Also, regarding Protopteryx, the strange lines that are surrounding the
> body.  Are these traces of the feather tips?

I think you're referring to the marks caused by the edge of the prepared
area, where the preparators stopped chipping away rock because they didn't
think the fossil extended any further.

> And finally regarding Protopteryx, page 1957, how do you have an unfused
> carpometacarpus?  Does this mean that the metacarpals are just closely
> appressed?  I've heard that Oviraptor has this condition.  Is it present
> other forms?  Wondering the same thing about the unfused tibiotarsus...

Poor terminology.  It just means the bones are unfused.  Should have just
said "unfused metacarpus".  Not technically a carpometacarpus, but eh...

> Oh...and if anyone has a reconstruction of Confuciusornis or Protopteryx,
> could they please reply offlist?

None has been made of the latter.  Probably because the authors decided to
only include a photo and not a line drawing.

Mickey Mortimer