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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
 fiercely.

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 publication. :-|