[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Re., SCANSORIOPTERYX



Richard Peirce wrote:

> 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.

Actually, although I can't get my eyes to interpret the photos of the specimen
as such, the _Scansoriopteryx_ slabs both preserve only impressions (described
as "highly detailed molds") of the bones (plus the feather traces).  If you look
at the slab and counterslab photos, notice that _both halves_ appear to preserve
the bones, bulging outward from the slabs.  This obviously cannot be!  I, too,
have seen the wonderfully detailed slabs, and attended Czerkas' talk at the
Florida Symposium on Dinosaur Bird Evolution, and I assure you that the fossils
represent molds.  It is a remarkable optical illusion.

Sometimes the Berlin _Archaeopteryx_ main slab is photographed with lighting
coming from below, and it looks hollow.  But turn the photo upside down and it
pops out in positive relief.  At Disney's theme parks, the Haunted Mansion
features busts with concave heads lit from below, and as you pass by them, they
not only appear to be convex, but the faces appear to turn to follow you.  I
apologize if this ruins anyone's experience of the ride.

Regarding the wispy feather traces, this may reflect on the apparent young age
of the individual, which may have sported more impressive pelage when mature.
Czerkas fleshes out _Scansoriopteryx_ in the form of two fluffy nestling.

-------Ralph W. Miller III
           ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu

>