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Re: Feduccia Reviews Paul's DOTA, Comments

Having received the paper last night from Mickey, there are a few things I'd like to expand on within Jaime's post. Thanx again to both of you for the paper, though.

--- Jaime A. Headden wrote:
The main objections in this review are that Paul's art is stylized (often it
is not, Feduccia is likely refering to the skeletals) and interpretive, where
Paul often renders illustrations with "corrective" style but largely dead on.

From Dictionary.com-

stylized: adj : using artistic forms and conventions to create effects; not natural or spontaneous; "a stylized mode of theater production"

I see nothing wrong with interpretive paleoart as long as it is accurate. An example is BPM 1 3-13 (Cryptovolans pauli) was first described (Norell, Ji, Gao, Yuan, Zhao, & Wang 2002), it was only known that the feathers went as far as the tibia. Several illustrations were made by various paleoartists reflecting this. They were not, at the time, wrong. They simply reconstructed as best they could trying to be as accurate as possible, and at the same time, inflecting a little bit of personal opinion on structures. It's nearly impossible to restore anything in paleoart with doing so, at least IMHO.

One has just to examine his skull illustration of *Archaeopteryx* on pg. 85. He
cites Jones et al. (2000b) (in which Feduccia participated and thus has a
personal stake) in arguing that *Caudipteryx* is a secondarily flightless bird,
despite the prevalence of evidence to the contrary, the absence of exclusive
avian features that could not be dinosaurian in the paper he cites; more
amusingly, he states Jones et al. was "conclusive evidence".

Actually, it's Jones et al. (2000a), Jones et al. (2000b) is the description of "feathers" in Longisquama.

The only published response (that I am aware of) to the ABSRDists claims that Caudipteryx is a flightless bird, is-

L.M. Chiappe & Gareth J. Dyke (2002). The Mesozoic Radiation of Birds. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Sys. 33:91-124

Now, for discussions on this list, refer to-

Feduccia amazingly argues _against_ the *Archaeopteryx* + dromaeosaur link he
alluded to in his reply to Brush this year ("Birds are considered dromaeosaur
derivatives, and Archaeopteryx is illustrated as a terrestrial creature,
hyperextending its second toes. Yet Archaeopteryx did not have a
dromaeosaur-like hypertrophied second sickle claw[;]" pg. 916). I gather that
Feduccia does not expect characters to evolve, and Paul does consider
dromaeosaurs (and in fact all maniraptoran dinosaurs) as descendants of
*Archaeopteryx,* where the sickle claw occurs in several descendants but needn't
occur in an ancestor.

Contrary to Feduccia, Paul does not considered birds to be dromaeosaur derivatives, rather instead that dromaeosaurs are bird derivatives. ^.^

Alvarezsaurids are treated as ornithomimids; wholly on apparent unpublished
data apart from Sereno's analysis which identified the relationship on tentative
evidence, analyzed elsewhen on the list, and deriving from Larry Martin's work
where (as published in DinoFest perhaps?), several of the features that Sereno
found and some rather horrible and plastic features (much wider distribution
than given) gave us a really bad stab at cladistic analysis (which Feduccia is
adopting a result of despite indicating his distate for this subject, no mystery

The following paper discusses Sereno's alvarezsaurid-ornithomimid characters-

S. Suzuki, L.M. Chiappe, G.J. Dyke, M. Watabe, R. Barsbold, & K. Tsogtbaatar (2002). A New Specimen of Shuvuuia deserti Chiappe et al. 1998, From the Mongolian Late Cretaceous With a Description of the Relationships of Alvarezsaurids to Other Theropod Dinosaurs. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Contributions in Science 494:1-18

For discussions on list regarding this-

Despite this, Feduccia provides this data as incontrivertible and worth
no further discussion. Sad. Feduccia discusses *Microraptor,* but comments on
discussions that included *Cryptovolans* (and treating dromaeosaurs as birds as
well) indicate the animals are wholly unlike dromaeosaurs ... despite being
referred to the group on the basis of the sickle claw and the "ramphorynchoid"
[his sic, not mine] tail, among other features.

He also refers to oviraptorosaurs as "oviraptorosaurids". I often see that, isn't that incorrect?

As if being found in pterosaur
tails makes this tail any less diagnostic as a unique feature of dromaeosaurids,
where _no other dinosaur_ possesses such a tail. Feduccia has accepted
*Microraptor* as a dinosaur, but it has feathers. So feathers can occur in
non-avians? So it doesn't come down to the feather?

The tails of dromaeosaurids and "rhamphorhynchoids" are only similiar in sharing elongated chevrons and postzygapophyses extending more than half the length of the preceding vertebrae. "Rhamphorhynchoids" have longer tails (tail is more than 12 times femur length in Rhamphorhynchus), very dorsoventrally short proximal chevrons. Dromaeosaurids have shorter tails than "rhamphorhynchoids" (tail is between 6-7 times femur length in Deinonychus) that have tall proximal chevrons, that are sort of varying from proximally to distally from curved to L-shaped to T-shaped.

Feduccia acknowledges Paul's critique of *Longisquama* as ignoring the _obvious_
feather-like morphology, ignoring "feather-like" does not equal "feather," and
the study by Reisz and Sues (2000) critiquing Jones et al. (2000a) in
identifying "feathers in a non-avian archosaur" (never referred to by the
"identifiers" as conclusive feathers except in the misleading title). Feduccia
says Paul "denies the presence of featherlike appendages", which is untrue; Paul
considered the features of *Longisquama* as "feather-like" and alluded to their
aerodynamic possibilities, as a convergent feature, as did Reisz and Sues.

Can someone tell me (off-list if necessary) if Reisz and Sues are preparing their work for further publication?

"Paul finds no evidence for avian cranial kinesis or birdlike feathers in the
skull of Archaeopteryx[.]" And why should Paul? Feduccia seems to be following
the "BANDit" path of assuming because it was a bird, *Archaeopteryx* must have
had a fully functional avian-style kinetic skull, when some _birds_ don't or
exhibit dissimilar skulls.

You forgot to mention that no birds have feathers in their skulls. Maybe on them, but not in them. ^.^

"On page 119, there is a restoration of a lemur-like Ornitholestes" Apparently
confused it with *Sinornithosaurus*, as the *Ornitholestes* is in no way
lemur-like, and the posture of *Sinornithosaurus* below this on the page _is_ in
a lemur-like posture.

And to add to the hilarity, it's actually on page 118!

Fun... fun... fun!

Nick Gardner

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