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Re: Sinosauropteryx feather paper (free pdf)

Why is the image quality so terrible in this paper? Did Lingham-Soliar not have 
higher quality images, or did the Journal of Ornithology downsample everything? 
It's too bad as the poor image quality makes it much harder to see what is 
being talked about.


----- Original Message -----
> From: Ben Creisler <bscreisler@yahoo.com>
> To: "dinosaur@usc.edu" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Cc: 
> Sent: Monday, 5 December 2011 11:43 AM
> Subject: Sinosauropteryx feather paper (free pdf)
> From: Ben Creisler
> bscreisler@yahoo.com
> A new paper--the pdf is free for now.
> Theagarten Lingham-Soliar ("2011")
> The evolution of the feather: Sinosauropteryx, life, death and preservation 
> of 
> an alleged feathered dinosaur. 
> Journal of Ornithology (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1007/s10336-011-0787-x
> http://www.springerlink.com/content/0383285508u76214/
> free pdf:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/0383285508u76214/fulltext.pdf
> Among the spectacular dinosaur fossils reported from the Jehol Group of 
> northeastern China is the most celebrated, Sinosauropteryx, which continues 
> to 
> excite interest in questions concerning feather origins--most recently with 
> alleged identifications of melanosomes and colour in its integumental 
> structures, which proved unfounded. The crucial significance of 
> Sinosauropteryx 
> is undoubtedly the focus on its basal theropod status and potentially pivotal 
> position in informing models of the early evolutionary origin of modern 
> feathers. On the basis of new evidence in Sinosauropteryx NIGP 127587 and GMV 
> 2124, it is shown here that the alleged protofeathers were not free filaments 
> but part of a composite tissue. It is shown that the tail terminates in a 
> unique, smoothly edged, spatula-shaped structure. The dinosaurs died in the 
> vicinity of a lake. For the first time, the taphonomy of Sinosauropteryx is 
> investigated on the basis of aboveground decomposition
> experiments on living animals so as to get a better understanding of 
> conditions 
> pre
s death, decomposition and finally 
> preservation of soft tissue as manifested in the fossil. The signs point 
> strongly to invertebrate colonization of the carcass of Sinosauropteryx 
> rather 
> than vertebrate predation or scavenging, with moderate decay associated with 
> the 
> purge fluids while major decay was forestalled by burial, at most a few days 
> after death. Lastly, a theory that the opisthotonic posture of fossils such 
> as 
> Sinosauropteryx NIGP 127587 occurred perimortem as a consequence of neural 
> spasms provides the basis for a forensic reconstruction of the stages leading 
> to 
> the dinosaur’s death and the final preserved position of the external, 
> dorsally 
> preserved soft tissue, which proves to be more consistent with a uniform 
> crest 
> than individual, free protofeathers.