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Re: Subject: Bird hibernation/torpor



>       I wonder if there is anything in birds in general and ratites 
>in particular which makes them superior osmoregulators.  Their ability to
>find a refugium in the desert might be dependent on this.  

Their ability to excrete uric acid allows them to conserve water quite
efficiently - but I would hardly call the desert an avian "refugium" but an
area they have successfully invaded.

>       And then there is the question of whether feathers or hair are
>better for desert wear.    They couldn't be equally good cou;ld they?
>And to keep the flow of consciousness going...would it be better for a
>desert dino to have feathers or scales?

This is so dependent on behaviour I wouldn't care to say.  Wre they diurnal
or nocturnal, for example?  Who knows?  Modern desert animals include
birds, mammals and reptiles, so who can say what is "best"?
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          Internet: ornstn@inforamp.net