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Re: Flattened dinosaur and basal bird feathers reinterpreted



I included the Froth paper in my second installment on dinosaur feathers
in paleoart:

http://web.me.com/jasonbrougham/Site/Blog/Entries/2011/6/14_Feathers%2C_Filaments%2C_and_Fluffiness_2.html

or www.jasonbrougham.com  under "blog".



> From: Ben Creisler
> bh480@scn.org
>
> New paper online:
>
>
> Christian Foth (2011)
> On the identification of feather structures in stem-line representatives
> of
> birds: evidence from fossils and actuopalaeontology.
> Paläontologische Zeitschrift (advance publication)
> DOI: 10.1007/s12542-011-0111-3
> http://www.springerlink.com/content/u71014417j3214j0/
>
>
> Dinosaurs with fossilized filamentous integument structures are usually
> preserved in a highly flattened state. Several different feather types
> have
> been described on this basis, but the two-dimensional preservation of
> specimens during fossilization makes the identification of single feather
> structures difficult due to overlapping feather structures in vivo.
> Morphological comparison with the diversity of recent feather types is
> therefore absolutely vital to avoid misinterpretation. To simulate the
> preservation process, a cadaver of recent Carduelis spinus (European
> siskin) was flattened in a printing press. Afterwards, the structure of
> the
> plumage was compared with the morphology of a single body feather from the
> same specimen. In comparison with the single feather, the body plumage of
> the flattened bird looked rather filamentous. It was almost impossible to
> identify single structures, and in their place, various artefacts were
> produced. The investigation of plumage in a specimen of the Mesozoic bird
> Confuciusornis sanctus reveals similar structures. This indicates that
> flattening of specimens during fossilization amplifies the effect of
> overlapping among feathers and also causes a loss of morphological detail
> which can lead to misinterpretations. The results are discussed in
> connection with some dubious feather morphologies in recently described
> theropods and basal birds. Based on recent feather morphology, the
> structure of so-called proximal ribbon-like pennaceous feathers (PRPFs)
> found in many basal birds is reinterpreted. Furthermore, the morphology of
> a very similar-looking feather type found in the forelimb and tail of an
> early juvenile oviraptorosaur is discussed and diagnosed as the first
> feather generation growing out of the feather sheath. Thus, the whole
> plumage of this theropod might represent neoptile plumage.
>
>
>
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Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
Department of Exhibition
American Museum of Natural History
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