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Re: Defending Photoshop, defending the interpreter

----- Original Message ----- From: "David Peters" <davidrpeters@earthlink.net>
Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 1:56 PM

You've never heard of, oh, what is the term for ichnites that appear a layer or
two down from the original skin impression layer?


Even more pertinent is the point that a fossil is more than just bones in the
case of Solnhofen fossils. The soft tissues of the creature are still there,

Most aren't. The muscles, tendons and ligaments are all gone, uncalcified cartilage is gone, all inner organs are gone... keratinous skin features are sometimes there, but even those are usually just impressions or natural casts.

Yet bedding planes follow the body contours to such an extent that
sometimes the bones have to dug out.

I'd rather say that the first layer follows the bones that are directly under it pretty precisely, and the layers above it are successively more smooth. Like how snow buries stuff.

If only one or two specimens showed the details I propose, then yes, blame the
interpreter. But when dozens do. And when they don't add steps to phylogenetic
analyses. And the resulting hypotheses explain more than pure figments not based
on fossils (colugo lizards, for instance).

A just-so story is not evidence.

Or when deep chord wing membranes are sought but not found.

Then this might be further evidence against deep-chord wings. (Or not.)

Or a uropatagium that stretches from one leg to the other
without touching the tail,

Didn't Sharov himself propose this? Or Unwin & Bakhurina? Wellnhofer's encyclopedia presents it as a fact for *Sordes*.

or a propatagium with actinofibrils,

Now that actinofibrils in general have turned out to be muscle fibers, they are expected in all pterosaur wing membranes.

or mistaking an
anurognathid embryo for an ornithocheirid, or reconstrucing a pterosaur skull
upside down, or finding a pterygoid where none was notice before, or a phalanx
four submerged beneath legs.

What is then?