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Re: Integument. . . extant vx extinct

--- Michael Skrepnick <palaeopaint@dinosaursinart.com>

> Have a look at this bizarre little beauty. . .
> Seeing is of course believing and in the case of
> fossil specimens at least 
> half way to believing ( depending upon the source of
> academic 
> interpretation ).  The point. . . if a creature like
> this were unknown to 
> science ( as this one was until just recently ), but
> instead an ancient 
> counterpart were discovered in a fine grain sediment
> in which detail was 
> nicely preserved, how difficult would it be for the
> scientific community to 
> accept such an anomaly with unexpected hirsute
> covering?  Some might 
> interpret or discount the evidence within the slab
> as an occurance of 
> dendrites, collagen, etc. . . but who would
> willingly accept or expect a 
> creature of the deep to be shrouded as is the "Yeti
> crab". Do discoveries 
> like these make it easier when considering (
> cladistics aside for the 
> moment ) phenomena like proto-feathers on dinosaurs?
> While the overwhelming 
> majority vertebrate paleontologists have readily
> embraced the shift in 
> thinking to feathered theropods, it seems hard to
> believe there is still a 
> vocal minority within the scientific community who
> stand in opposition of 
> the weight of evidence, especially in light of
> examples of evolutionary 
> diversity that populate our planet today. . .
> like"hairy crabs" ( who would 
> have thunk it? )
> Mike S.

I think finds like this are definitely important to
our overall understanding of life on Earth (and
reality in general). It's also important because it
forces us to keep in mind that fuzz need not evolve
solely (or even at all) for the purpose of insulation
(I certainly don't hear any marine biologists calling
this guy warm-blooded). 

If it were only known from fossils then I'd certainly
hope that there would be great reluctance in accepting
it. Skepticism keeps science honest. It was skepticism
that exposed Piltdown man, "Archaeoraptor" and the
alleged human clone cells.

Even though we are 99.9% sure that dogs came from
wolves and that water is composed of two hydrogens and
an oxygen, it still pays to question the mainstream
views now and again (preferably with valid doubts, and
not just hand waving, "I don't like it" arguments). As
such I can't really condone the works of the BAND
crowd, nor Horner's views on _T.rex_. Still, I am glad
that they are there. It would be nice if Horner didn't
get as much air time with these particular views, but
it's still good to ask these things every now and

Hell, just think of where dinosaurs (and knowledge of
animal thermophysiology in general) would still be if
Ostrom, Bakker et al didn't question the mainstream
view of dinosaurs?


"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern [reptile] types 
than we do of many fossil groups." - Alfred S. Romer

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