half-evolved feather pt 2

Glenn Morton (grmorton@waymark.net)
Wed, 08 Apr 1998 20:38:10 -0500

I have chased a bit back into the literature looking for info on the
Longisquama feather-like scales. What I found is really fascinating.

"Longisquama insignis is a remarkable, tiny (some 50 millimeters[2 in] long)
presumed thecodont from the late Triassic of Turkestan and the only known
reptile to possess scales that show a possible intermediacy with feathers.
The tiny specimen is preserved in its entirety, crushed on a slab. it
exhibits an antorbital fenestra, a well-developed furcula, and long keeled,
overlapping body scales." Alan Feduccia, The Origin and Evolution of Birds,
1996, p. 87

The figure on page 88 has the following caption says that it possessed a
unique gliding mechanism of "a double series of long scalelike structures
that were unfolded in butterfly fashion to form a gliding wing." P. 88

the scales are as long as the animal and each one is separate from the other
scales and looks like a feather.

Now, the above should go some distance towards answering what Kenyon and
Davis ask of the fossil record,

"If only we could find a fossil showing scales developing the properties of
feathers, or lungs that were intermediate between the very different
reptilian and avian lungs, then we would ahve more to go on. But the fossil
record gives no evidence for such changes." Percival Davis and Dean H.
Kenyon, Of Pandas and People, Dallas Haughton Publishing, 1993, p. 106

Since the first english language report on Longisquama appeard in 1972 (P.
F. A. Maderson, Am. Natu. 106:424 (1972)) 17 years prior to the 1st
edition, and 21 years prior to the publication of the second edition of Of
Pandas and People, one must wonder why the authors could claim that the
fossil record showed no evidence of scales turning into feathers.


Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood