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Feathers



From: George Olshevsky <DinoGeorge@aol.com>

 > ... but why--IF THEY NEEDED INSULATION--did they SPECIFICALLY
 > acquire FEATHERS for insulation rather than hair, fat, asbestos
 > linings, fiberglass, etc.

Accident, serendipity, historical reasons.

In short, why does the *have* to be an adaptive reason? (This is
one of Stephen J. Gould's major bugaboos). If hair, feathers and fat
are all about equally effective as insulation, which one developes
may be more a question of what went before and what mutations occured
at the citical points in time than any relative merits of the three.

 > Nobody has explained why feathers are BETTER insulators than hair,

They probably aren't particularly.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.