[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Archaeopteryx

 From: KBoyat@aol.com
 >      I came upon an interesting article today in "Earth" magazine. It seems
 > there is some debate now over the ability of archaeopteryx to fly.

It always has been.
Every time it seems ot be settled, some other factor comes out
which re-opens the debate.

Not that I am yet convinced that the feathers are sufficiently
symmetrical to be unusable in flight.

 >      The reason for the feathers then? According to Speakman, there exist a
 > couple of possibilities. Perhaps the feathers were use for insulation,

For the body feathers this is *certainly* true, whether Archie
could fly or no.

For the wing primaries, it is absurd.  They do NOT cover any living
tissue, and so do not insulate anything significant.

 > or
 > perhaps for camoflage, or, because it is thought that archaeopteryx was a
 > shallow water hunter, maybe they were used to shade the water from the suns
 > blinding glare. This would allow them to see their prey better.

Or, MUCH more likely: intraspecific display!

In general, display purposes are much more likely to generate
extravagant, often enlarged, structures than almost any other
selective regime.

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.