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breeding, numbers, nesting, and flight
so everyone wants to know why dino-birds started to fly. During the
current discussion, I was struck by the ideas that:
1)birds tend to have low-numbered broods. The evolution of flight was
always credited as the limiting factor. However, dinosaurs seemed to
have a different breeding srategy-high number broods. What if the
trait to have limited broods was evolved BEFORE flight, thus making it
more of each dino-bird's interest to rear and nurture their young into
adulthood? The strategy-shift would seem to encourage finding better
hiding places for nests, and as far as I am aware, there are no
tree-nesting dinosaur sites. So the dino-bird went into a
climbing-brachiating form for nest preservation. Flight came after.
Grasping for branches came first.
2)Feathers evolved as a breeding aid-partially for display and
partially to incubate broods. Thus they didn't have to directly
evolve for flight, but are awful handy as an incubator and heat
retainer for something that hasn't grown it's feathers yet. The
barbels are great for retaining heat.
What do you think?