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Fucheng Zhang & Sylvia/Stephen Czerkas



    Fucheng Zhang has emailed me PDFs of the pages in
question from the August 2001 publications, and I am
sitting here with the Sylvia Czerkas hand-numbered
faxed pages and the pages as they appear in the book.
I believe both to be honourable scholars. The only
question is: why would Sylvia  re-number pages from
the book re: Scansoriopteryx, when each page of the
book is clearly numbered? If the book was at the
printer, being bound (the book, unfortunately, does
not identify the name/location of the printer [whose
attention to detail and quality colour reproduction is
to be saluted]), it could be  Sylvia sent Fucheng
Zhang hand-numbered proof pages, which is faster than
mailing the book or trying to scan pages of a book for
faxing. I do not believe Sylvia and Stephen are lying.
 The August 1, 2002 date on the title page: were the
books printed and bound on this day, or was this
publication date for-the-record? I have, e.g., a
reader's copy of JURASSIC PARK given to me two months
before the "official" publication day (hardbound
copies of the 1990 novel were in the warehouses, ready
to be shipped, and Franklin Library had published
their beautiful, author signed, leather bound edition
before Knopf). In other words: an official publication
date often bears little resemblance to actual fact,
when review copies are sent out, a book store may be
selling copies before this date, etc. For all I know
(and I do not), bound copies may have been available
slightly before 1 August 2002 for Sylvia and Stephen
to peruse.
    I believe Sylvia and Stephen to be very honest,
and, regardless of my profound disagreements with
Stephen's interpretive analyses of theropod
phylogenies (disagreement does not mean lack of
respect, I stress), their 1 August 2002 date for their
publication is valid, and Sylvia's courtesy to Fucheng
Zhang above-board. The book is an important
contribution to dinosaur/pterosaur studies, a
demonstration of ongoing dialogue between "east" and
"west" dinosaur lovers. Fucheng Zhang believes that as
late as 29 August 2002, the book was not available in
bound form, that his 21 August 2002 online publication
of Epidendrosaurus has priority over the 1 August 2002
stated printing/publication of Scansoriopteryx (which
Fucheng Zhang calls "a smuggled fossil from China"; an
odd adjective, as Sylvia/Stephen have shared with
Chinese scholars all of their specimens, and their
forthcoming 2004 exhibition will rival previous
displays). 
    I do not know the answers to any of the above, and
am offering only personal impressions. Fucheng Zhang's
feelings are obviously hurt, but it could be the taxa,
while similar, may not necessarily be synonymous. A
tiger and a lion are both cats, but not the same.
    Now, if only I could convince Sylvia to re-release
her Charles R. Knight book in hardcover! 


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