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Re: In (premature) defense of the USNM



You observed:
<Gurney's creation is a fictional world and while it is appealing to many of
us with a common interest in dinosaurs, it still should be separated from
the science.
For example, as has been pointed out on this list, Jim elects to render
small theropods as unfeathered ( which suits the characters, as he's
developed them ), however, when these images appear in the context of a
science exhibit, they to a degree "undermine" the perception of small
theropods having a feathery integument.  In Jim's
"world" this is fine, but to onlookers who see his reasonably portrayed
"naked" small theropods in relatively close proximity to a display that is
teaching people about an insulating covering on small theropods, there is
then ambiguity ( not to "us" who have a working knowledge of such things,
but to the public who don't necessarily).>

The 'feathery integument' on many small theropods (those not discovered with
impressions of integument) is also conjectural.  If one alternative
conjecture is to be permitted, why not the other?
In fact, it's arguable that a 'naked' theropod is more consistent with the
observed facts than a covered one.
A recent speculation onlist concerned whether averting boredom might not be
a cause for activity producing physical changes.  The idea was denigrated,
but social factors including behaviors are known to encourage physical
changes and intelligence seems to be encouraged by play. Why should any
variety of speculation, particularly one with contemporary equivalents, be
rejected out of hand?