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Re: really big question



Dear Ralph, Mickey, Jaime, Mike, and List,

   I apoligize for taking so long to answer this. It has been a very hectic
few weeks.
     I agree with the list members that more information is required to form
a firm conclusion on whether ornithiomimids where generally with or without
plumage. However, I still don't think everyone exactly got my point. The
pelecanimimus discription, provided By Ralph Miller says that birds where
found on the site with feather impressions. Fish where found with scale and
internal tissue preservation. Pelecanimimis was found with skin, tissue, and
keritaneous preservation, and no, repeat no plumage impressions. Saying that
with all the other animals at the site having this amazing amount of
preservation, and Pelicanimimis's feathers not showing up because of bad
preservation is at best,  miraculous.
    Pelecanimimis's feathers didn't show up anywhere on it because it didn't
have any. This is a best guess estimate based on Occham's Razor, not on a
theory that states it has to have feathers because so and so's cladiogram
says it does.

Birthday Boy Cliff


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dino Guy Ralph" <ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2004 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: really big question


> For background on the preservation of _Pelicanimimus_, see
> Briggs, Derek E. G., Phillip R. Wilby, Bernardino P. Perez-Moreno, Jose
Luis
> Sanz and Marian Fregenal-Martinez. 1997. The mineralization of dinosaur
soft
> tissue in the Lower Cretaceous of Las Hoyas, Spain. Journal of the
> Geological Society, London 154: 587-588.  For starters, you can read Jeff
> Poling's summary at http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/misc/pelecanimimus.html.
>
> There are many possibilities regarding the integument of ornithomimids,
and
> these stem from some unanswered questions:
> Is the _Pelicanimimus_ "skin" indicative of epidermis or does it represent
> subcutaneous material?
> Were there feathers on other parts of the body?
> Did its ancestors have feathered throats, and were throat feathers lost in
> the lineage prior to _Pelicanimimus_?
> Where do compsognathids and ornithomimids fit into the theropod cladogram,
> i.e. which is the more basal coelurosaur?  (Being coelurosaurs,
> ornithomimids would be expected to exhibit simple feathers).
>
> So, personally, I imagine _Pelicanimimus_ sported a filamentous
integument,
> but had a naked throat, though I certainly can't prove it.  Wait a few
> years, and new Asian fossils may reveal more about the outward appearance
of
> ornithomimids.
> --------
> "Dino Guy" Ralph W. Miller III
> Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
> proud member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
>
>