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RE: really big question



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Cliff Green
>
>      My point is that Pelicanimimis is, according to the
> information that I
> have received, VERY well preserved, as in one of the most completely
> preserved of any dinosaur ever found.

Nope.  It's good, yes, but it isn't even in the "Compsognathus longipes"- or
"RTMP juvenile Gorgosaurus"-level of good (both these are more complete,
having hind quarters). And by no means is it as good as the 3-D preserved
skeletons from Djadokhta or Ukhaa Tolgod or the like. Much of the skull is
not accessible on Pelecanimimus, for instance, and there is some
deformation.  The skulls of some of the Asian and North American
ornithomimids are better preserved than Pel.'s skull, in that all the bones
are there, and you can see the skull from any orientation.

> The authors claim that it is so well
> preserved, that what they first thought were feather impressions,
> turned out
> to be muscle fibers.


> The best preserved fossils at the site show feather and
> scale impressions. Pelicanimimis is on that best preserved list,

Not as such. See above.

> and shows
> niether.Thus, according to the simplist answer, it didn't have any.

In point of fact, there is no preserved integument over most of the
specimen. There IS mineralized muscle tissue, but not the integument over
it.

The patches of possible skin are the throat pouch (scale- and featherless)
and the ??possible occipital crest??

So, sad to say, this specimen doesn't test what body integument of
ornithomimosaurs was like one way or the other.  Furthermore, given good
data that ornithomimosaurs were nested within fuzzy dinosaurs, any
restoration lacking such is inferring an evolutionary change for which there
is no supporting information.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796