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RE: Longisquama's "feather-like" appendages in new study



Does this study finally put to rest the hypothesis that the "appendages" are 
part of a plant?



> Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2012 10:02:09 -0800
> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Longisquama's "feather-like" appendages in new study
> 
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> 
> 
> A new online paper:
> 
> Michael Buchwitz and Sebastian Voigt (2012)
> The dorsal appendages of the Triassic reptile Longisquama insignis:
> reconsideration of a controversial integument type.
> Paläontologische Zeitschrift (advance online publication)
> DOI: 10.1007/s12542-012-0135-3
> http://www.springerlink.com/content/c25022htl3663053/
> 
> 
> Elongated skin projections of the reptile Longisquama insignis from
> the Triassic of Kyrgyzstan are preserved as imprints on the only
> skeletal specimen and on seven additional pairs of fossil slabs and
> counter-slabs from the same locality and horizon. The integumentary
> structures became a matter of debate when they were assessed as
> “non-avian feathers” homologous to avian feathers. Conflicting
> interpretations of their morphology and relationship to other
> appendage types arose from the ambiguity of the fossil skin
> impressions. On the basis of comparative description of the individual
> morphology of all yet known Longisquama specimens we address aspects
> of taphonomy, development, and function and define to what extent
> Longisquama’s appendages share characteristics of avian vaned
> feathers. We explain the existing feather similarity by their
> development from a filamentous primordium and a complex sequence of
> individual processes, some of which are reminiscent of processes
> observed in feather development. Such an interpretation is in
> agreement with a set of homologous mechanisms of appendage
> morphogenesis in an archosauromorph clade including Longisquama and
> feather-bearing archosaurs but does not necessarily require that the
> appendages of Longisquama themselves are feathers or high-level
> feather homologues.