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Re: Dinosaur beaks

In a message dated 3/24/2003 5:56:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
david.marjanovic@gmx.at writes:

> These two are known from several very well-preserved specimens. All of these 
> preserve claw sheaths. This makes it IMHO very likely that the equally 
> keratinous beak would have been preserved, too, if it had existed. <

Well... I severely disagree with your assessment of the situation here...

The feet of a bird and most likely theropods of similar size and build are 
covered almost always with a very heavy podotheca that has very little in the 
way of (1) Open areas of soft tissue. (2) Internal bacteria like which is found 
in the mouth and (3) Items such as mucus, eye balls ect... that bacteria, hence 
decay, can build on before burial. I collect bird bones and it is very common 
to have a bird that has lost all of its flesh on its head and is down to the 
bare bone and yet the legs, usually from the proximal end of the 
tarsometatarsus down, are still covered with a full podotheca... nails and all. 
Arm chair hypotheses often do not work out very well in the real world.