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The message is about the genes that code for feathers.
I meant to have a chat with my genetics professor on the subject,
but I haven't had the chance yet, so I'll just pose the question to
genetics folks on the list:
Aren't there types of supergenes that code for a whole bunch of
characteristics from different parts of the body, so that if selection
only acts upon one of those features, the phenotypic frequencies for a
species will be altered for all the other features as well?
What I'm getting at is: are the alleles that determine feather form
for the entire body linked in this way? If early feathered theropods had
hairlike feathers, but selection favored the rachis & barbs structure
JUST for the arm feathers, if the feather structure genes WERE linked,
wouldn't all the integument feathers develop the same structure even though
there was no particular selective advantage to do so? Fedducia says that
the reason integument feathers have the same structure as flight fetahers
is because they must have developed from flight feathers, but could linked
genes produce the same effect?
I'm only into my first semester of genetics, so I'd appreciate soem
genetics person could clarify what I'm trying to talk about before
shooting me down.
"Salsa shark--we're gonna need a bigger boat!"