The evolution of the feather: Sinosauropteryx, a colourful tail

@article{LinghamSoliar2010TheEO,
  title={The evolution of the feather: Sinosauropteryx, a colourful tail},
  author={Theagarten Lingham‐Soliar},
  journal={Journal of Ornithology},
  year={2010},
  volume={152},
  pages={567-577}
}
A recent development in the identification of feathers in fossils by means of melanosomes was used to suggest that structures observed in an SEM of a filament in the basal theropod dinosaur, Sinosauropteryx, were phaeomelanosomes and that they represented conclusive evidence that the filaments were early feathers. At the most basic level, the claims of phaeomelanosomes are shown here to be founded on an optical illusion created when the SEM is reproduced at low image size—viewed at larger image… 
The evolution of the feather: Sinosauropteryx, life, death and preservation of an alleged feathered dinosaur
TLDR
The signs point strongly to invertebrate colonization of the carcass of Sinosauropteryx rather than vertebrate predation or scavenging, with moderate decay associated with the purge fluids while major decay was forestalled by burial, at most a few days after death.
The evolution of the feather: scales on the tail of Sinosauropteryx and an interpretation of the dinosaur’s opisthotonic posture
TLDR
The sequence of events in which this apparently occurred also suggests that the development of opisthotonus may have occurred post mortem rather than perimortem in this specimen, addressing a somewhat controversial question.
On the purported presence of fossilized collagen fibres in an ichthyosaur and a theropod dinosaur
TLDR
It is found that there is no evidence to support the idea that the integumentary structures seen in the two taxa are collagen fibres, and it is confirmed that the most parsimonious interpretation of fossilized structures that look like feather homologues in Sinosauropteryx is that they are indeed the remains of featherhomologues.
The taphonomy of colour in fossil insects and feathers
TLDR
Future studies focussing on key morphological and chemical aspects of colour preservation relating to cuticular Pigments in insects and keratinous structures and nonmelanin pigments in feathers will resolve outstanding questions regarding the taphonomy of colour and will enhance the ability to infer original colouration and its functions in fossil insects and theropods.
Rhetoric vs. reality: A commentary on “Bird Origins Anew” by A. Feduccia
TLDR
A review of the full complement of facts pertaining to the avian origins debate is provided, motivated by a Perspectives article with numerous factual inaccuracies, to address the misplaced criticisms raised in that opinion paper.
FANTASY VS REALITY: A Critique of Smith et al.'s Bird Origins
TLDR
Adherents of the current orthodoxy of a derivation of birds from theropod dinosaurs, criticize the commentary by Feduccia and numerous papers by Lingham-Soliar using numerous mischaracterizations and misstatements of content, and illustrate their own misconceptions of the nature of the debate.
Cretaceous Reverie : Review of Birds of Stone : Chinese Avian Fossils from the Age of Dinosaurs by
Birds of Stone contains a portfolio of outstanding photographs of the spectacularly preserved Jehol bird fossils, from the Chinese Lower Cretaceous, and other pertinent vertebrate fossils of varying
Three stages of post mortem opisthotonus uniquely captured in the dinosaur Sinosauropteryx
AbstractThe dinosaur Sinosauropteryx, thought by some to have given rise to birds, is from the Chinese Jehol biota. A specimen of the dinosaur uniquely shows the opisthotonic process (sharp upward
How Nature Produces Blue Color
Today, blue is a very fashionable color in European countries. This has not always been the case (Pastoureau, 2000), as cultural perceptions have slowly evolved since prehistoric times. In cave
Deconstructing the long‐standing a priori assumption that serial homology generally involves ancestral similarity followed by anatomical divergence
TLDR
It is shown that: (a) there are almost never cases of true ancestral similarity; (b) in evolution, such structures— for example, vertebra—and/or their subparts—for example, “transverse processes”—many times display trends toward less similarity while in many others display trends towards more similarity, that is, one cannot say that there is a clear, overall trend to anisomerism.
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 40 REFERENCES
The colour of fossil feathers
TLDR
It is concluded that most fossil feathers are preserved as melanosomes, and that the distribution of these structures in fossil feathers can preserve the colour pattern in the original feather.
Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds
TLDR
It is reported that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres.
A new Chinese specimen indicates that ‘protofeathers’ in the Early Cretaceous theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx are degraded collagen fibres
TLDR
A new specimen of Sinosauropteryx is reported which shows that the integumental structures proposed as protofeathers are the remains of structural fibres that provide toughness.
The dinosaurian origin of feathers: perspectives from dolphin (Cetacea) collagen fibers
The early origin of birds is a hotly disputed debate and may be broadly framed as a conflict between paleontologists and ornithologists. The paleontological emphasis has shifted from Archaeopteryx
Branched integumental structures in Sinornithosaurus and the origin of feathers
TLDR
Observations of the filamentous integumental appendages of the basal dromaeosaurid dinosaur Sinornithosaurus millenii indicate that they are compound structures composed of multiple filaments that are unique to avian feathers, which strongly corroborate the hypothesis that the integumentals of SinORNithosaurus are homologous with avan feathers.
The integument of Psittacosaurus from Liaoning Province, China: taphonomy, epidermal patterns and color of a ceratopsian dinosaur
TLDR
The data here enable to reconstruct the colors of Psittacosaurus as predominantly black and amber/brown, in cryptic patterns, somewhat dull, but useful to a prey animal, and suggest that melanin was the dominant chemical involved in the coloration of PsITTacosaurus.
Dinosaur protofeathers: pushing back the origin of feathers into the Middle Triassic?
TLDR
The notion that primordial feathers occurred in a clade more inclusive than the Coelurosauria and that it is supported by the presence of integumental structures in Psittacosaurus is analyzed and rejected.
Anatomy of Sinosauropteryx prima from Liaoning, northeastern China
A spectacular pair of Sinosauropteryx skeletons from Jurassic–Cretaceous strata of Liaoning in northeastern China attracted worldwide notoriety in 1996 as the first dinosaurs covered with
First investigation of the collagen D-band ultrastructure in fossilized vertebrate integument
TLDR
Investigation of the elemental composition of the sample by SEM–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicates that calcite and phosphate played important roles in the rapid mineralization and fine replication of the collagen fibres and fibrils.
A new feather type in a nonavian theropod and the early evolution of feathers
TLDR
Congruence between the full range of paleontological and developmental data strongly supports the hypothesis that feathers evolved and initially diversified in nonavian theropods before the origin of birds and the evolution of flight.
...
...