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Re: weird jurassic dinobird with very weird feathers

Forgot to mention that I don't have the book here that describes *Scansoriopteryx*. What does its tail look like?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:35 PM

The mandible in aspect is as similar to *Confuciusornis* as said avian is to an egret.

Didn't you just argue for restricting Aves to the crown-group? :-)

There are no pennate feathers. At least even basal dromaeosaurs, oviraptorosaurs, and probably troodontids had true feathers. This places the taxon at least in either 1) a degenerate state, in which case it should lack features associated with a flight apparatus a la therizinosauroids, or 2) it is not as close to birds as the authors of the paper positioned it. The matrix would be better suited to looking at their codings.

Neither are any other feathers or any other soft parts preserved on any of the limbs. The whole ventral side appears to lack preserved integument or other soft parts -- and the color of the sediment there is different. IMHO we're dealing with absence of evidence here rather than evidence of absence.

It is entirely possible the manual phalanges represent portions of digits 1 and 3, not 1 and 2, since the second manual ungual in *Epidendrosaurus* is, like *Confuciusornis* of all things, smaller than the other two.

Not true. In *Epidendrosaurus* the claw of the 3rd finger is considerably smaller than the other two.