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Re: T.Rex Feather Skepticism

On 9/6/05, Neal Romanek <nromanek@earthlink.net> wrote:
> A T.Rex feather question actually. Or maybe it's even more a statistics
> question;

Partly, but also a preservation thing.
> Since we find clear evidence of feathers in smaller dinosaurs, wouldn't
> there then be substantially more evidence available for larger
> theropods if they too were feathered? A feathered T. Rex, for example,
> would produce literally tons of feathers in its lifetime. Where has all
> this tonnage gone?

First of all, this doesn't mean there should be more _T. rex_ feathers
than feathers of any other coelurosaur in a given environment. Sure, a
full-grown _T. rex_ is very large; but they aren't that numerous.
Think of it this way: if you piled up the fur of all the grizzly bears
in North America in one pile and the fur of all the rabbits in North
America in another pile, which pile would be bigger?

Thus, you should be questioning not only why we don't find _T. rex_
feathers in Maastrichtian deposits, but why we don't find feathers
from Maastrichtian dromaeosaurids, oviraptorids, ichthyornithids,
graculavids, etc. And the simplest answer is that feathers and feather
impressions do not preserve very often; you need special sediment like
in Liaoning, Las Hoyas, Solnhofen, etc.

—Mike Keesey