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Re: Sci Am - present.



Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> 
> At 09:08 PM 2/13/98 -0000, J. Jackson wrote:
> 
> >I think the steady convergence 'TOWARDS' birds in other theropods, in the
> >Cretaceous, is much more convincing, and necessitates, for me, the
> >birds-to-theropods movement in the Cr.
> 

>large friendly snip<
> 
> This is no more pro-BCF than it is pro-BAMM (birds are modified
> maniraptorans).  Presence of some sort of proto-feathery itegument would be
> necessary prior evolutionarily to bird flight, as feathers form the flight
> surface.
> 
I read this as I have other statements which I have generally agreed
with without much thought.  However, I went back to it today and reread
it a few times.

Why would it be necessary for dinosaurs to develop feathers prior to
flight?  Their cousins may have flown without them and bats do now. 
Would it be possible for dinosaurs to have developed flight then
developed feathers?  I'm familiar with the arguments about endothermy vs
ectothermy and powered flight. Is there room for argument for limited
powered, gliding and thermal flight in featherless dinosaurs?

Michael Teuton