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Re: Sinosauropteryx feather paper (free pdf)



From the abstract:

 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.

Too bad that the hypothesis of perimortal spasms has turned out to be quite unparsimonious. I was there at this year's SVP meeting when a video showed what happens when a dead chicken is put in water: the intervertebral ligaments contract, the dorsal ones are bigger than the ventral ones, and _within 5 seconds_ the top of the head touches the back.

But back to the topic. Uniform crest? Then why are stage I feathers preserved elsewhere on the body?