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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,
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?