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Re: [dinosaur] Jianianhualong, new feathered troodontid from Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of China (free pdf)



To anonymous reviewer #1 who wrote  "The description is very competent, although also very long, and most of it is of interest only to specialists, so it could be put in supplemental information."


What the ****?!  Long descriptions are GOOD.  Technical papers are written for specialists.  It's a big problem when we have brief descriptions in tabloids like Nature and Science that we have to rely on for decades (Pelecanimimus 1994, Afrovenator 1994, Giganotosaurus 1995, Deltadromeus 1996, Suchomimus 1998, etc.).  And why worry if information is in the main article vs. the supp info?  Nature Communications is completely online!  Do they think anyone actually reads through a Nature Communications article and is put off by not understanding minutia in the articles?  Call me crazy, but anything outside my specialty (biology) and the abstract is gibberish in Nature, and much of that I lack the knowledge to engage with unless it's about extinct reptiles.  Am I wrong?  Did anyone read about Jianianhualong by making their way through Wu et al's "Ion-specific ice recrystallization provides a facile approach for the fabrication of porous materials"?  Doubt it.  With reviewers like this, who needs enemies...


Mickey Mortimer


From: dinosaur-l-request@usc.edu <dinosaur-l-request@usc.edu> on behalf of Mike Habib <biologyinmotion@gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 1:36 PM
To: Ben Creisler
Cc: dinosaur-l@usc.edu
Subject: Re: [dinosaur] Jianianhualong, new feathered troodontid from Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of China (free pdf)
 
Just finished a quick read through of this paper. It is a neat specimen and a generally well-written paper. The idea that feather vane asymmetry might be quite basal is very interesting (albeit not terribly surprising).

My one criticism at the moment is that while the authors cite the most important literature regarding the relevant dynamics related to feather asymmetry, they don’t really use that literature effectively. The paper, as written, implies that the dynamics of feather asymmetry aren’t well understood. Contrary to this suggestion, the basics of asymmetrical vane twist and stall reduction are known, and the key paper on the subject (Feo et al., 2015) is even cited in this manuscript - but only as support for the statement that asymmetry is complicated! I feel that this oversight matters, because the difference between functional asymmetry and anatomical asymmetry could play into the phylogenetic patterns that the rest of the paper is primarily concerned with.

Plotting the appearance of feather vane asymmetry in the tail and forelimbs in a phylogenetic framework was a great idea, but I do wish the authors had plotted both anatomical asymmetry (as they did) and aerodynamic asymmetry (which they did not).

I’d be curious to hear what others think of the manuscript.

Cheers,

—MBH


Michael Habib, MS, PhD
Assistant Professor, Integrative Anatomical Sciences
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
Bishop Research Building; Room 403
1333 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles 90089-9112

Research Associate, Dinosaur Institute
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

biologyinmotion@gmail.com
(443) 280-0181





> On May 2, 2017, at 9:57 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
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> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
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> A new paper in open access:
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> Free pdf:
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> Xing Xu, Philip Currie, Michael Pittman, Lida Xing, Qingjin Meng, Junchang Lü, Dongyu Hu & Congyu Yu (2017)
> Mosaic evolution in an asymmetrically feathered troodontid dinosaur with transitional features
> Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14972 (2017)
> doi:10.1038/ncomms14972
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.nature.com_articles_ncomms14972&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=Ry_mO4IFaUmGof_Yl9MyZgecRCKHn5g4z1CYJgFW9SI&m=VNxchIqWbg5Av5JX9LDpOvu9xBh0fjY3NjNT-nKsktE&s=-_ph7ku7I_2srBqkrisbBR4dgN7hi9G8DxQ53ADxUeI&e=
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> Asymmetrical feathers have been associated with flight capability but are also found in species that do not fly, and their appearance was a major event in feather evolution. Among non-avialan theropods, they are only known in microraptorine dromaeosaurids. Here we report a new troodontid, Jianianhualong tengi gen. et sp. nov., from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of China, that has anatomical features that are transitional between long-armed basal troodontids and derived short-armed ones, shedding new light on troodontid character evolution. It indicates that troodontid feathering is similar to Archaeopteryx in having large arm and leg feathers as well as frond-like tail feathering, confirming that these feathering characteristics were widely present among basal paravians. Most significantly, the taxon has the earliest known asymmetrical troodontid feathers, suggesting that feather asymmetry was ancestral to Paraves. This taxon also displays a mosaic distribution of characters like Sinusonasus, another troodontid with transitional anatomical features.
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> News:
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> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__news.nationalgeographic.com_2017_05_fossil-2Ddinosaur-2Dtheropod-2Dfeather-2Devolution-2Ddiscovery-2Dchina_&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=Ry_mO4IFaUmGof_Yl9MyZgecRCKHn5g4z1CYJgFW9SI&m=VNxchIqWbg5Av5JX9LDpOvu9xBh0fjY3NjNT-nKsktE&s=29b3ebixy2bLbkI7srKUq2w3HbIDitObSyn3h08IfF8&e=
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> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__gizmodo.com_this-2Dnew-2Ddinosaur-2Dlooked-2Dan-2Dawful-2Dlot-2Dlike-2Da-2Dchicken-2D1794833786&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=Ry_mO4IFaUmGof_Yl9MyZgecRCKHn5g4z1CYJgFW9SI&m=VNxchIqWbg5Av5JX9LDpOvu9xBh0fjY3NjNT-nKsktE&s=uFi0ufebGWRldE4I4l_uQH0QYtmkwG7H5ci7Vay9iCE&e=
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