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20 NOV 2002, Villi Sinkkonen wrote:
there was an conversation about this animal a while ago, but stupid me I did
not read those messages.
So some question's.
1) is scansoriopteryx deinonychosaur???
2) does the fossil of scansoriopteryx contain any feathers?
What about epidendrosaurus?"
Scansoriopteryx was described and named in a chapter by Stephan Czerkas &
Chongxi Yuan in Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight, edited by
Sylvia Czerkas, The Dinosaur Museum Journal Vol. 1, August 1, 2002. ISBN
1-932075-01-1. (It would seem to be an entirely in-house production.)
Epiendrosaurus was described and named in an article by Fucheng Zhang,
Zhonghe Zhou & Xing Xu in Naturwissenschaften (2002) 89:394-398 and
published online 21 August 2002.
The Czerkas specimen is listed as CAGS02-IG-gausa-1/DM 607. The Zhang
specimen is IVPP-V12653. The former is nearly complete with bone in both
part and counter part. The latter is mostly bone imprints in both part and
counter part. To my amateur eye they look like the same organism or at least
very closely related.
Czerkas' paper classifies its specimen as "Maniraptora Gauthier 1986" while
preferring to regard it as derived from a "pre-theropod saurischian." (?)
Zhang says their specimen "clearly .. is a coelurosaur" that "probably
belongs to the Maniraptora." Deinonychus is a dromaeosaur. Czerkas doesn't
appear to use the word dromaeosaur anywhere in his paper while Zhang notes
that the frontal and parietal of his specimen "are similar to those of
dromaeosaurs, such as Sinornithosaurus." The counter slab of Czerkas'
specimen shows a frontal which looks like that on Zhang's specimen and the
tail of Czerkas' specimen looks dromaeosaur-like to me.
Zhang's paper makes no mention of hair or feather-like impressions. Czerkas'
does. It describes "wispy 'hair-like' impressions [that] can be seen around
select parts of the body" and interprets the filaments as forming "V-shaped
patterns" like down feathers. They are most obvious trailing from the left
forearm and manus.
I had the opportunity to examine "Scansoriopteryx" when it was displayed at
the Graves Museum in Florida in April 2000. Just how it got to the U.S. and
who owned it was unclear at the time. In fact, "gausa" stands for "go abroad
in USA." Czerkas et al's chapter is 30 pages long, meticulously and
beautifully illustrated, and acknowledges "an anonymous reviewer" as well as
fellow Listers Ford, Olshevsky and Paul (which may come as a surprise to one
or more of them). It has a long and somewhat rambling discussion which
struck me as being in need of a sharp editor. It seems to lend its weight to
the notion that flight originated from the trees down.
Hope this is of some help to you.
... Dick Peirce, Grand Junction, Colorado