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October 28, 2016 10:00pm
As has been pointed out, and ignored, many times, skin impressions are not uncommon among the Dinosauria and have been clearly preserved in sauropods, ornithopods, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ceratopsians and theropods; and some are preserved with internal organs. Yet in no case is there evidence of structures that could be remotely construed as feathers. Among the more notable theropods that preserve integument is the Lower Cretaceous Spanish Pelecanimimus, which exhibits an integument with a distinctive cross-hatching on the surface, representing wrinkling of the hide, but the surface of the skin is smooth, devoid of scales, much less hair or feathers. In 1996, Alexander Kellner reported preserved skin in a Brazilian theropod, showing under scanning electron microscopy a very thin epidermis, formed mostly by irregular quadrangles bordered by deep grooves in a crisscross pattern. But, as Mark Twain once said, you can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

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