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Re: Follow-up: the truth about killer dinosaurs

In article <BAY101-F3316527BEADBAC6CDB10AC98A00@phx.gbl>, Tim Williams wrote:
> IMHO this is probably due to taphonomy.  For some reason, the feather 
> impressions were preserved in this sedimentary environment, but the 
> scales/scutellae were not.  The _Archaeopteryx_ specimens preserve evidence 
> of feathers, but no scales, even though parts of the body (e.g., face, feet, 
> maybe the hands) were undoubtedly scaly in life.
       Are you thinking along the lines of an environment where feathers are 
resistant, but the mineralisation/ hard parts of scales are labile. That's a 
set of circumstances that is highly amenable to forensic investigation - not 
necessarily police forensics (Who Killed Polly Parrot?), but certainly the 
environment is possible to investigate.
       Is there any evidence from the lithology of the tuffs included in the 
Yixian lake sediment package (hang on, that doesn't sound right. Early morning, 
waiting on coffee to work!) as to the chemistry of the hinterland? Likely to be 
relatively alkaline or acidic? What do modern zoologists have to say about 
taphonomy around the margins of, for example, the soda lakes of East Africa?
 Aidan Karley,
 Aberdeen, Scotland,
 Location: 57°10' N,  02°09'  W (sub-tropical Aberdeen), 0.021233
 Written at Fri, 02 Sep 2005 06:43 +0100

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