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Re: In (premature) defense of the USNM



> >> Any animal observed to have feathery integument should be drawn with
> >> feathery integument; any animal not observed to have feathery
integument
> >> should be drawn without feathery integument.
> >> and
> >> I have a logical argument which has not been refuted that a certain
number
> >> of animals I select had feathery integument.
> >MS* This is true. There is nothing wrong with maintaining a conservative
> >viewpoint

***MS  I then went on to state that this was alluding to a previous e-mail
(one that wasn't posted to the list because for some reason Philidors reply
to me personally and his copy to the list both showed up in my personal mail
and I thought he was only corresponding to me offlist.  I found out
afterwards, this wasn't the case, however, a portion of what I pointed out
in that e-mail regarding the justification for a "feathered majority" I
wrote:

" Guilt by association.  If more primitive members subject to phylogenetic
bracketing
exhibit integumentary covering which is exposed courtesy of a unique
geological situation
(the substrates of Liaoning),  I think it is reasonable to assume, until
proven otherwise, that
 most members of related clades, ARE more likely than not to have had this
sort of
external coating.  That doesn't imply there won't be exclusions, but I think
in light of the
recent evidence from China, which samples a variety of small
theropods,Caudipteryx,
dromaeosaurs?, troodontids, therizinosaurs, etc... all displaying the common
"feathery"
outerwear, the odds are we are going to see a broader diversity of plumage
adorned,
 bird-like denizens, than not.  How Jim decides to render his fictional
inhabitants is not of
concern, as Dinotopia bears no impact upon the science proper and as long as
each are
relegated to their own corners of the "squared circle", the general public
is spared from the
intervening crossfire."

***MS  So I essentially agree with you're statement below, and that in the
aftermath of a paradigm shift in thinking, small feathered theropods
now become the new standard and the unfeathered model becomes the "oddity".


> For animals more closely related to modern birds than to
_Sinosauropteryx_, the "conservative viewpoint" *is* feathered/dinofuzzy.
The creatures that fall into this category were all almost surely
feathered/fuzzy ancestrally, and to draw them without feathers or fuzz is to
postulate that they have lost these integumentary structures, a contention
for which you have no evidence.

***MS  Not completely out of the realm of possibility that we might
encounter a few forms that revert to a secondary state of "naked-tivity"
from a formerly modifed feathered design.  How's that for a twist in
thinking. . . everything goes full circle if you wait long enough. . . I'm
secretly waiting for iron clad evidence that will push back the origin of
feathers to a primitive, but aggressive form of gliding trilobite, Masters
of the Paleozoic skies!!. . . :o)

Cheers,

Mike Skrepnick


> --Nick P.