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Thanks to all who commented on the behavior of birds removing their
feathers to serve as nest material for young. I had never heard of that
before, but it raises an interesting question. I know this is a stretch,
but is it possible that if dinosaurs used their feathers as a means to
increase the chances of their young's survival by both serving as a
"softening the landing mechanism" during egg laying as was discussed
before or simply as a means to better incubate their eggs that this
could have possible helpto select for those dinosaurs that had feathers
over those that had not. I know that this is really pushing it.
Dinosaurs who used feathers for cushioning during egg laying were
probably too big to ever have any use for feathers in flight, however it
seems to me that perhaps using feathers as incubating accesories would
promote survival of young from the egg phase which would increase the
frequency of that genotype being passed on.
Remember, this is just a "maybe." Anyone have any ideas??
VCU Biology Department