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Survey Re: Dinosaur Insulation
I am trying to do a survey about the popularity of dinosaurian insulation.
With the endothermic dinosaurs and dinosaur-to-bird transition
(Archaeopteryx is supported as an avian ancestor by Sinornis; Protoavis
simply does not deserve its name) growing more and more popular, I have
observed that more and more people are believing that some dinosaurs had an
insulative covering of feathers. But, I must note, feathers (or degenerated
feathers) should only be put on small, active dinosaurs, such as the small
theropods and small ornithopods, but feathers may also have been on the
youngsters of large dinosaurs. We have probably not yet found feather
imprints on these kinds of dinosaurs because, for one, small dinosaurs are
much less common than large ones (the bones are more fragile), and two, the
conditions under which many small dinosaurs have been preserved just doesn't
favor feather imprints. Compsognathus's lack of feather imprints (it was
preserved in the same lithographic limestone that preserved Archaeopteryx so
well) is used as evidence that the chicken-sized theropod did not have them
-- but, of course, a couple of Archaeopteryx specimens didn't have any
feathers on them, either.
This is part of a school project that is trying to chart our
oh-so-constantly-changing beliefs about dinosaurs -- and this feather theory
is one of them. I would really appreciate it if you could take a few seconds
and tell me what YOU think.
Just email me at Raptorrkc@aol.com (short, simple address), and in the body
of your letter just type in Yes if you believe some dinosaurs may have had
feathers, and No if you think the whole idea is a crock. After your answer,
you can write some comments (comments concerning your answer and the actual
popularity of the feather theory would help). Here is an example:
COMMENTS: small theropods and small ornithopods may have had feathers
Theropodian feathers may have originated with the podokesaurs as modified
scales, and served as aid in endothermy; the feathers could have been contour
at first, covering most of the body, and degenerated into fur-like structures
for mainly land-bound theropod....
Don't pay any attention to the example; it's just an example.
Once I get twenty or more replies, I will post the results of the survey.
Thank you very much!
Raptor RKC (Rachel Clark)