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Re: origin of feathers
Birds have lice. (singular: louse) Blue jays have developed a way to
satisfy the itch they can't reach through the armor of the feathers by
using ants. They roll, with their feathers fluffed, in ant hills and
let the ants crawl into their feathers. When they are fully anted,
the ants supposedly deal with the lice by carrying them away back to
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Subject: origin of feathers
Date: 10/3/95 10:43 AM
Here's some p ure sepculation. I s hould be plesaed if anyone
saw fit to sh oot it down or comment on it.
Birds do not carry fleas or lice, nor are they often bitten by
mosquitoes. Even the so-called b ird-lice stay in the n est
and feed on the young birds, and are not carried around by
the adult birds.
I can't really see a b iting i nsect managing to bit an adult bird
through the "armour" of the contour feathers. Mosquitoes and
horse flies seem to h ave co-evolved with th e mammals, and
are primarily parasites of them, not of birds.
Could feathers have evolved first as protection against
>From: David Brez Carlisle