Feathers

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David Orr

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Oct 14, 2011, 10:44:36 AM10/14/11
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Hey all,

I'm working on a project for my independent study in typography this
semester. It's going to be structured as "the story of feathers,"
playing off the correspondence between letterpress printing and the
way feathers are preserved in the fossil record. I'm in the research
phase right now. I raided the Indiana University geosciences library
yesterday and picked up "Glorified Dinosaurs," by Chiappe; "Feathered
Dinosaurs," by Long and Schouten; and "The Jehol Fossils" edited by
Chang. I've got Currie's "Feathered Dragons" volume being delivered
and a friend is lending my Thor Hanson's new book on feathers.

I thought I might cast a net to this group. Anyone have any good
historical writings on feathers? I think that my sources on the
evolution of feathers and important fossils are pretty solid, so I'm
mainly looking for pre-Sinosauropteryx conjectures about bird
evolution.

Thanks for your help, and I promise to share the final product
(whatever form it may take) with whoever is interested.

David

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Michael Barton

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Oct 14, 2011, 11:20:07 AM10/14/11
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When I started reading your list of books, I was going to mention Thor Hanson's new book but you already know of it. Carl Zimmer had an article earlier this year about feathers in Nat Geo: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/02/feathers/zimmer-text

Taylor Reints

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Oct 14, 2011, 3:52:27 PM10/14/11
to History of Paleontology
I'm pretty sure Thomas Huxley had some very interesting pieces back in
the 19th century about bird evolution. He was also the first to
suggest dinosaurs and birds shared an ancestor and that some dinosaurs
may have had feathers.
Also, before Sinosauropteryx, Robert Bakker hired an artist to portray
Megapnosaurus (back then called Syntarsus) with feathers, during the
time of the Dinosaur Renaissance -
http://media.photobucket.com/image/syntarsus%20feathers/fenchurch/blargh/olddinobook3/syntarsus-2.jpg.

When immediate ties between birds and dinosaurs were found, Gregory S.
Paul reconstructed avian-like theropods and juvenile sauropods and
ornithischians with feathers/fluff/protofeathers.

David Bressan

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Oct 15, 2011, 6:53:02 AM10/15/11
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Regarding the evolution of the idea of feathered dinosaurs maybe this
article in Scientific American could be interesting, also for the
historic context when the first descriptions of the fossils of
dinosaurs from China hit the broader public interest:

PRUM & BRUSH „Which Came First. The Feather or the Bird? 72-81, there
is also some further bibliography at the end
http://faculty.tcc.edu/RClayton/GOL106_documents/readings/dinosaurs.pdf

Regarding T. Huxley we must mention this article:

SWITEK, (2010): Thomas Henry Huxley and the reptile to bird
transition. G.S. Special Publications 251-263

http://independent.academia.edu/BrianSwitek/Papers/335300/Thomas_Henry_Huxley_and_the_reptile_to_bird_transition

Stu Pond

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Oct 16, 2011, 8:45:03 AM10/16/11
to History of Paleontology
David,

You could try Mesozoic Birds: Above the Heads of Dinosaurs by Chiappe
and Witmer (eds). It's post-Sinosauropteryx and the discussion on
feathers is rather concise but it's a wonderful book and worth a look
anyway.

Stu

Schenck

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Oct 18, 2011, 1:51:34 PM10/18/11
to History of Paleontology


On Oct 14, 10:44 am, David Orr <davie...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey all,
>
> I'm working on a project for my independent study in typography this
> semester. It's going to be structured as "the story of feathers,"
> playing off the correspondence between letterpress printing and the
> way feathers are preserved in the fossil record
snip

I'm assuming you mean something like how archaeopteryx was found in
lithographic stone (thus the specific name)? Sounds like a really
interesting project. I suspect that the preservation of pigment
patterns will be important too. Aren't some of the Jehol rocks
lithographic quality too? Don't know if they were ever used for that.

Schenck

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Oct 18, 2011, 1:53:02 PM10/18/11
to History of Paleontology
snip
Just realized you could make an analogy between serifs & ligands on
the one hand and barbs and barbules on the other! Ha!

David Orr

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Oct 18, 2011, 3:11:54 PM10/18/11
to history-of-...@googlegroups.com
Yup, something like that. In research phase now, working out ways I
can derive my page proportions from the geometry of the beta-keratin
molecule. Trying to be as nerdy as possible!

just obtained Thor Hanson's new "Feathers" book as well as Pat
Shipman's "Taking Wing," about Archie. Thanks for the suggestions,
everyone.

David

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