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  Topic: Transitional Fossils, For Jesse etc.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 319
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 13 2002,01:25   

This thread is for links, refs, etc. on transitional fossils.

The big momma of 'net resources is:

Kathleen Hunt's Transitional Vertebrate Fossils MegaFAQ

...however, it was mostly written in 1995 or so, and an awful lot has been discovered since then.  But with Hunt's FAQ can as a starting point, I suggest we use this thread to "enhance" the material there with:

1) Online pictures we discover

2) Refs and pics of new discoveries (let's see, since 1995 there've been more transitionals discovered for whales, manatees, birds, ...and of course humans).

3) Online discussions of the topic

4) Review articles etc.

...all with the primary focus of rebutting the "there ain't no transitional fossils" claim.

Here is my favorite:

AMNH page on a feathered dromeosaur


Posts: 319
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 24 2003,04:34   

For the fossil record's first feat, I submit:

Microraptor gui

Nature 421, 335 - 340 (2003); Four-winged dinosaurs from China

Freely online:

lots of discussion at II evo board

Since the paper is up for free I will put the pics in here:

Figure 1 Microraptor gui. a, Skeleton of Microraptor gui (IVPP V13352). Scale bar, 5 cm. b, A computerized tomography (CT) image of the major part of the IVPP V13352. Scale bar, 13 cm. Scanning was performed using a CT machine (LightSpeed Qx/i) at an energy level of 140 kV and 250 mA. The images were collected at a size of 800  600 pixels. On the basis of comparison of adjacent fracture-face geometries, density of adjacent pieces, and continuity across fractures of bones (see ref. 45), we find a few pieces are unverified or assembled in the wrong position (marked by asterisks). For example, one small piece containing the anterior end of the skull and a medium-sized piece near the right forelimb preserving some arm feathers are dubious. The latter is actually from the counter slab. However, the CT information suggests that most pieces lie together in their natural relationships, including pieces containing the forelimb, hindlimb and associated feather impressions. This is concordant with microscopic observations. c, A reconstruction of M. gui showing the morphology and distribution of the pennaceous feathers. Scale bar, 6 cm.

And check out 2g for the definitely non-trivial (although the exact function may be up for grabs) hind leg feathers:

Figure 2 Feathers of IVPP V13352 and TNP00996. Feathers attached to the skull (a), the tail (d), the forelimb (f), the manual digit I (i), and the hindlimb (g) of IVPP V13352, and to the skull (b) and the tail (e) of TNP00996; close-up of the skull feathers of TNP 00996 ©, and of secondaries (h) and large pennaceous feathers on distal metatarsus (j) of IVPP V13352. Note the pennaceous feathers attached to the digit (i) that might be a precursor to the alula. This is concordant with the fact that M. gui has a short manual digit I, because the alula is often associated with a reduced alular digit except in Protopteryx24. Scale bar, 5 cm.

At the end they say:


We carefully examined the specimens under the microscope and with high-resolution X-ray computerized tomography (CT) to test the authenticity of one of the studied specimens45 (IVPP V13352) and can guarantee the accuracy of the information that we provide in this study. case this wasn't clear, ref 45 is to the Archaeoraptor forgery, meaning that one of the pieces of the Archaeoraptor was a chunk of M. gui.

Truth was stranger than fiction in this case...

  1 replies since Dec. 13 2002,01:25 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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