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Re: Dino Feathers

>        The bigger question would be:  why would a bird bask?  As I
>mentioned, basking is something that ectotherms must do, but endotherms do
>not (except for comfort, apparently).  For _Archaeopteryx_ to be basking,
>you're basically saying that it's probably an ectotherm.  And while yes, I
>know that some recent research points to Mesozoic birds not having
>identical metabolic rates as modern birds do, I still think it more
>parsimonious to think small theropodomorphs, including _Archaeopteryx_,
>were more than ectotherms.  In reverse, if _Archaeopteryx_ was using the
>feathers for cooling...well, let's just say then that it would've been
>better off _without_ the feathers for rapid cooling!  So I don't think that
>the feathers had a cooling effect, and I'm not convinced that they were
>insulatory, either (although feathers as a whole may have evolved that

I have often seen cormorants spread their (dark) wings out in the sun to
dry them after diving.  I also have recently seen vultures, along my route
to work, sitting with their wings spread out at their roosting spots on
foggy mornings.  I'm assuming that they are also trying to dry their wings.
In such a case, they are likely trying to heat the wing surface, and not
trying to raise body temperature.