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Bloody kiwis, who started this?
>My analogy between kiwis and theropods is highly cautious, your comparison is
>flippant. The statement that there are "scale effect" differences between the
>bird and dinos is unsupported because at 3 kg kiwis are LARGER than some
>small theropods such as Compsognathus! As for feather length, some "furry"
>animals have short fur, some have long, but they all use them for insulation.
>The Chinese theropod probably lived in a warm climate and needed only short
>feathers, kiwis live on chilly islands and need a warmer coat. Think
Yes, my comparison was delineratly flippant; an intentional hyperbole to
highlight the dangers of reading too much into superficial resemblances
between living and extinct animals. We call the technique "irony", are you
familiar with the concept?
OK, if kiwis are larger than some theropods such as Compsognathus, please
limit you comparisons to those theropods and not, by implication, to all
therpods. And please exercise a suitable degree of caution when making even
these comparisons; they may look similar and be about the same size, but
how many environmental parameters are different for the two and what effect
will such differences have?
Fur (and feathers for that matter) are not used only for insulation, but
also for protection, defences, sexual displays etc. etc.. It would be
foolhardy to limit my thoughts to thermodynamics when so many variables are
Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd