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Re: Herbivorous Dinosaurs of the World ?

Dinogeorge wrote:
<I still haven't heard a reasonable explanation of what the animal would be
doing with those big, feathered forelimbs during the 99% of its life when it
>wasn't< brooding its eggs. If the wings evolved >solely< for brooding, they
would just hang there uselessly the rest of the time, right? How about--the
feathered forelimbs evolved for >something else<, and were, perhaps, useful
for brooding eggs on those occasions when brooding needed to be done.>

    I wouldn't be a very good brooding-came-first advocate if I accepted your
last statement, would I George?
    I know this still won't satisfy you, but here goes:  The other 99% of its
life is not 99%, first of all.  Most birds spend much more of their lives than
1% on nesting, laying, hatching, brooding and fledging their young.
    Secondly, so what if the feathers would be useless the rest of the time,
brooding is the most crucial activity for any animal, and a certain amount of
feather baggage might be acceptable in order to help chicks survive rainstorms
etc.  According to Feduccia's published work, baby ostriches can be killed by
a single cloudburst, if left unsheltered by their parents.
    Thirdly, and here you've provoked me to say something I've never mooted
before: many modern birds time their molting cycles to match their brooding
cycles in one way or another.  Why not dinos?  If the feathers were an
encumbrance, and as you say, useless when not needed for brooding, it seems
likely that they would be shed, until next year's breeding season arrived.
    Tom Hopp