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Re: Survey Re: Dinosaur Insulation



     When looking at Archaeopteryx, it is important to think about 
intermediate steps betwwwn the development of fully functional flight 
fethers and a naked skinned ancestor.  Feathers probably did not develop 
originally for flight simply because an animal that has just developed 
the rudiments of feathers is not ging to be able to fly.  It would take 
quite a bit of development before a little theropod would be able to 
glide or fly at all.  What feathers originally eveolved for is still up 
in the air, but insulation is likely.
     The point is that Archaeopteryx probably had non-flying feathered 
ancestors, so finding a small feathered Jurassic or Triassic theropod would 
not be terribly suprising to me.  Whether or not feathers were very 
common among theropods, universal or nearly so in theropods, common in 
all types of dinosaurs, or simply the innovation of one small branch of 
theropods leading to birds is uncertain.  
     Off the subject a bit, I think consider calling birds dinosaurs 
is stretching it, sort of like calling the blue whale the largest living 
mammal-like reptile.

LN Jeff