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Re: Feathers and flight; BCF



In a message dated 98-02-15 03:00:55 EST, jwoolf@erinet.com writes:

<< Feathers-as-drag would be a help to a fall-prone arboreal animal, but
 OTOH it could gain similar benefits at less expense just by becoming less
prone
 to falling. >>

Even better: Have feathers >and< become less prone to falling.

But less expense? Which is easier: to develop feathers, or to develop better
hand-eye coordination, better eyesight, better grip, less fall-prone
behaviors?

Chances are feathers appeared for some as-yet-unknown reason and were later
exapted for insulation, display, airfoils, etc. Nice article in 1996 issue of
Archaeopteryx (the journal) on feathers originating as sulfate-excretory
structures.