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Re: Baby insulation



On Wed, 16 Oct 1996, Jeffrey Martz wrote:

>      On the idea that dinosaur?/bird feathers and pterosaur fur are 
> homologous and that all dinosaurs had the geentic potential for sporting 
> feathers at least part of thier lives, I'm thinking about Greg Paul's 
> paper in Dinosaur Eggs and Babies about insulation in hatchlings.8  
>      Small babies exposed to the elements have a major problem 
> with temeperature control, being so small.  If I am not mistaken, 
> MOST endothermic animals huddle up with thier offpring at night 
> to keep them warm.  Considering the size of parent 
> dinosaurs, sitting on thier babies to keep them warm is not a viable option.  
> The suggestion was that feather insulation was present in these hatchlings 
> (perhaps to be lost at a later stage in life). How do baby ectotherms keep
> from freezing?  

The parent needn't cover them, simply laying down could provide warmth
by having the young snuggle. Picture suckling piglets for the effect.

Timing births to more hospitable times of the year would lessen the need
for warming strategies.

+----------+    Rich Travsky   RTRAVSKY @ UWYO . EDU
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