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origin of feathers



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
biting insects?

David

--
>From: David Brez Carlisle
bk090@Freenet Carleton.CA