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Feathered dinos (was RE: New BBC series research-fine feathered dinos)

B tH wrote:
> While N.A. has had several feathered dinos
> discovered, it has seemed that the Mongolian-Chinese
> fossil record is 'richer' in these animals (going by
> the various news outlets.)
> Is that just chance?
> Could the environments have been different enough
> to spur feathers in what is today's Orient?

Let's not mistake "feathered dinosaurs" for "dinosaur fossils with
feathers preserved".

North America has  many fossils of feathered dinosaurs (avialians,
dromaeosaurids, troodontids, oviraptorosaurs, alvarezsaurids,
ornithomimosaurs, tyrannosauroids), just none preserved with feathers on
them.  The Asian fossils are preserved in very fine-grained sediments
which preserve the carbonized feathers (and also which preferentially
preserve small-bodied animals). The North american fossils are typically
preserved in river deposits, which do not preserve such details.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA