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Re: Good news for Eosipterus fans

David Peters wrote-
Previously it was reported (refs below) that the Chinese pterodactyloid,
Eosipterus, lacked a head, cervicals, and a good humerus. I don't know
how we all missed this before, but there is a giant skull in the middle
of the plate from top to bottom, two mandibles on the right half of the
plate, and the humerus is well marked. Scleral rings are present and so
are lots of articulated teeth. The back of the skull is disarticulated,
but that's good news because access to the specimen should provide a
good look at the braincase and palate.

Well, they do say there are times when the best things are hidden in plain view.

It may also be a testament to the scanning technique. I used the small
(less than 2x2") color picture that appeared in Nature (see below)
whereas others had access to the specimen. I'm sorry I missed it
earlier, but  I followed previous reports which I assumed were factual,
rather than relying on my number one roadkill rule: if it's articulated,
it's complete.

I still believe that using such small images may not be advisable. I recommend contacting the various authors of the below papers for better quality images of the specimen. I don't know if your roadkill rule is necessarily true when I consider a few feathered dinosaur specimens. Here's a suggestion, perhaps someone could look for elements previously thought to be unpreserved in the Protarchaeopteryx holotype.

For those of you who still regard the scanning technique as inferior to
actual observation of the fossil, perhaps this ?little discovery will
quietly sway a few to some small degree of acceptance. Once again I say,
the new technique merely places order on the apparent chaos of a
roadkull fossil, enabling careful dilineation of every bump and stain so
that all parts of a fossil can be identified, rather than dismissed or

I think that it is still important to use other methods, such as observing the specimen under UV or microscope or even CT-scanning. The last one has done interesting things for Microraptor gui, like figuring out that the snout didn't really belong.

Nick Gardner
AIM Eoraptor22