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Re: Size limit of being feathered



Jonathan Schmidt wrote:

<I was just wondering what the size limit of being feathered might be?
 I ask this question specifically concerning Utahraptor( an obviosly
very birdlike creature but much larger than many of its equally
"birdy" relatives) if it weighed no more than a elephant bird it seems
likely it had feathers but I can't seem to remember how much an
elephant bird weighed.>

  The size of *Utahraptor*, based on a twenty-foot scale-up of
*Deinonychus* OR *Dromaeosaurus*, would have the approximate mass of a
tiger. The same mass applies to an ostrich, or elephant bird, with the
legs, and possibly tail and head unfeathered, that's not really much
to feather over. Calves of the ostrich are unfeathered, probably for
cooling reasons, and the head and neck for (possibly) the same reason.

<and tho it seems he was wrong about the shape of Deinonychus's skull
most of his ideas seem perfectly reasonable to me.>

  Hmm. I don't think Greg was wrong. I think Ostrom's Yale
construction of the leapin' triplets (cool reconstruction) show raised
lachrymals, which is really the only problem I have with it, is also
wrong. The snout was low, but I don't think it was so up-bent as Greg
illustrates. However, Greg's looking into this, or he should be, due
to news of a skull of *Deinonychus* that might look closer to Ostrom's
reconstruction.

==
Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
http://members.tripod.com/~Qilong/qilong.html
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All comments and criticisms are welcome!

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