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Re: Science feather strength debate
You lot crack me up. Here we have the first fossil with feathers and
wings and we have had pages of debating whether it could fly. Papers
are published, which somebody put a lot of time and effort into,
trying to prove it couldn't fly.
And your point is?
Archie is intermediate. It isn't obviously flighted or obviously
flightless. It has wings, but not particularly long ones; it has
primaries and secondaries (wing feathers on the hand and forearm), but
no tertiaries (long contour feathers on the humerus and the sides of the
trunk that fill in the gap between the wing and the body); it has
attachment sites for wing muscles, but weak ones; it seems to have been
incapable to lift the wings above horizontal...
As for the question posed some days ago about un-feathered archie,
not all the specimens are feathered and some of those that are not
were mis-identified as compsognathus.
All these are in fact feathered, the "impressions"* were just a bit
fainter than in the London and Berlin specimens. And, well, the
misidentification of one specimen (...yes, only one...) as
*Compsognathus* was simply due to incompetence -- even from the other
side of the room, you can see the arms are as long as the legs, while in
*C.* they're much, much shorter.
It gets worse: one partial specimen, the Haarlem one, was originally
misidentified as *Pterodactylus*. It was made the type of a new species,
*P. crassipes*, because the legs (which are most of what is preserved)
are so well developed... today, anyone can see at the first glance those
are theropod legs and not pterosaur legs, but in the middle 19th century
pterosaurs weren't known that well yet.
* Actually natural casts. Three-dimensional.
IIRC it was John Ostrom that correctly identified some of these when
he was doing the investigations that lead to a truly game changing
publication, as opposed to the paper you have been debating so
Well, yeah. Doubling the number of known Archie specimens, and
describing all specimens in more detail than ever before, with
comparisons to *Deinonychus* that were impossible before Ostrom
discovered that critter in 1969, does make for a game-changing