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Re: Jinfengopteryx elegans the troodontid



Michael Lovejoy (michael@palaeoproductions.fsnet.co.uk) wrote:

<Dan Bensen asked: "Looking at the tail, it seems to have had a bushy, sort of
bottle-brush integument in life, but I assume that it's a squished laterally
flaring tail (like in Archaeopteryx).  Is there any way to tell?"
 
I don't know if I missed the answer to this, but if anyone's got any ideas i'd
like to hear them. I'm working on a Mei long sculpture right now, so I need to
grab any info I can on basal trrodontid integument!
 
So, Archie-type tail or bottle brush? Any ideas?>

  If I was to make any inferrences from the flattened specimen, I'd put more
money on flattened than I would on brushy, since this animal is inferred to
have had some more aerodynamic control when running (ground up hypothesis) or
if it was a jumper, leaping from branch to branch (trees down) it should retain
such an advantageous adaptation. Squirrely or raccoon-like brushy tails tend
not to be for aerodynamic purposes, and flying squirrels, sugar-gliders and
colugos have tails that are more flattened than brushy, as a possible
corrollary.

  Thus I would give it a more *Archaeopteryx*-like tail. But a brushy-tail like
might have been present in *Sinosauropteryx* (or even if it were flat in that
taxon) is not out of the question.

  Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


                
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