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Re: Not dinosaurs
On Wed, 24 Jan 1996, Stan Friesen wrote:
> From: JCMcL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Some have said that these hairless tails may assist in temperature
> > regulation in hot regions, by serving as radiators of excess heat
> The probelm with this is that the hairless tail feature doesn't correlate
> with climate. It is a taxonomic character. The Old-World rats and
> mice (family Muscidae, I think) tend to have "hairless" tails. Thus
> the black and Norway rats (genus Rattus) and the house mouse (genus
> Mus), both from Europe, have naked tails. On the other hand the New-
> World rats and mice pretty much all have hairy tails - as in the
> American deermice (Peromyscus), and packrats (Neotoma).
Murid rodents (Eurasian rats and mice) are astonishingly widespread
despite the (to some folk) disagreeable comparative (not absolute)
hairlessness of their tails.
Despite - or because of? What do these hairless tails mean,
evolutionarily, if anything?
My own feeling has always been that the long sauropod tail was a cooling
radiator, BTW. Rather than a whip, or JUST a whip.