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Re: Sinosauropteryx tail colors

Kris Kripchak <saurierlagen1978@gmail.com> wrote:

> Yup.. completely agree about the
> "critical mass" aspect and the
> coexisting of different types of integument.  Only
> makes sense,
> especially in regards to how Xu et al frame it (I've seen
> others state
> similar and have used the elephant analogy myself).

Yep, there are two distinct issues here.  In combination, they both make the 
phylogenetic mapping of feather evolution very complicated: 

(1) If a specimen comes preserved with a sparse or highly localized 
distribution of feathers (or feather-like integumentary structures), is this 
distribution real or a preservational/taphonomic artifact?

(2) If the sparse or highly localized distribution of feathers is indeed real, 
does it represent the primitive condition, or is it a result of secondary loss 
of a more extensive feather covering (i.e., the elephant analogy)?

> Either way, finding only a few tiny patches of
> scales,
> especially in the regions where they were located, doesn't
> rule out
> Juravenator having had filamentous feathers of one variety
> or another.

Definitely.  In these circumstances, absence of evidence is not necessarily 
evidence of absence.



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