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Re: Feduccia's allegations + Scansoriopteryx.

To HP Rutger Jansma: it's a private discussion with HP Luis Rey which gave
me the idea to look closer at the skull of _Scansoriopteryx_. He first
noticed teeth.

HP Ronald Orenstein wrote:
<<Is there anything that would convince you birds really did evolve from

But as you wrote, there's _Archaeopteryx_. Just imagine there were no
feather imprints on the specimens. What do you think one would have done?
It would surely have been considered as a small dinosaur, just like
Probably it would have took many more years for scientists to find birds are
dinosaurs... because Archie _is_ a dinosaur first.

(the original message would be truncated for some menbers, so I let it

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ronald Orenstein" <ornstn@rogers.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 5:53 PM
Subject: Feduccia's allegations

> In his Discover interview, Alan Feduccia says (Ias has been noted here
> So far, only one feathered dinosaur, Archaeoraptor, has been publicly
> acknowledged as a forgery. You think there are others?
> Archaeoraptor is just the tip of the iceberg. There are scores of fake
> fossils out there, and they have cast a dark shadow over the whole field.
> When you go to these fossil shows, it's difficult to tell which ones are
> faked and which ones are not. I have heard that there is a fake-fossil
> factory in northeastern China, in Liaoning Province, near the deposits
> where many of these recent alleged feathered dinosaurs were found.
> Journals like Nature don't require specimens to be authenticated, and the
> specimens immediately end up back in China, so nobody can examine them.
> They may be miraculous discoveries, they may be missing links as they are
> claimed, but there is no way to authenticate any of this stuff.
> Yes, of course, Feduccia has a great deal of investment in these things
> being fakes.  but given that the accusation has been made, is anything
> being done (as was done when Fred Hoyle made the same clims about
> Archaeopteryx) to settle the matter?  Surely an international team could
> assembled to examine some of the Liaoning specimens and settle the matter
> (and I suppose Feduccia should be included here?)?  I realize that a
> of reputed palaeontologists have examined the specimens, but (as has been
> noted in other contexts) scientists don't usually assume that they are
> being lied to or deliberately duped, and may not be experts in the field
> fake detection even if they are experts in the subject matter of the
> specimens.  It seems to me that this is too important an issue NOT to
> settle by an independent analysis.
> Also - I suppose the question of what is meant by "forgery" should be
> examined.  Archaeoraptor was a composite; but for Feduccia's claim to be
> true you would actually have to have skilled artisans doctoring the
> themselves (and I wouldn't be surprised if the skills to do this existed).
> Meanwhile, though, it was interesting to note this response:
> Is there anything that would convince you birds really did evolve from
> dinosaurs?
> At the time period when birds are thought to have evolved, there are
> of theropod dinosaurs, but they do not have the key birdlike features.
> Finding a feathered dinosaur that lived earlier, during the late Triassic,
> would be very convincing. Until we discover the critical specimens, the
> issue will never be laid to rest.
> Does this mean that if Feduccia could be brought to admit that the
> specimens of Microraptor et al were genuine in every respect, he would
> still argue that they had nothing to do with birds because they postdate
> Archaeopteryx?  Unfortunately, the interviewer seems not to have asked him
> that one....
> --
> Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
> International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
> 1825 Shady Creek Court
> Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@rogers.com