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Re: really big question

The Solenhofen matrix is micrite, correct?
It wouldn't hurt to plant a bunch of bird carcasses (of different species
with different feather patterns) on a carbonate mud floor of a modern
warm water lagoon and chart their decay over time.  A carbonate mud will
harbor a vastly different microbiota than will a phylosilicate mud.  And
a warm benthic envirnment is much different than a cold benthic

If the study hasn't been done yet, it would make a neat M.S. thesis for
someone who likes to SCUBA dive in tropical seas, and who doesn't mind
handling rotten birds.


On Wed, 15 Sep 2004 13:38:28 -0500 Tim Williams
<twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> writes:
> Ralph Miller wrote:
> >The remiges and rectrices (flight feathers), being more firmly 
> attached and 
> >not being of particular interest to the beetles, remain even while 
> the body 
> >is skeletonized.  So you see, durability and biotic activity are 
> factors in 
> >the selective utilization of bird tissues.
> On that point, this may explain why the inner wing feathers are not 
> preserved in _Archaeopteryx_ - these feathers are less exposed to 
> torsional 
> forces during flight as the outer primaries, and so may be less 
> firmely 
> attached.  Thus, they detach from the carcass easier than the outer 
> wing 
> feathers.
> Tim
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