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Re: If Dinosaurs Could Fly

>I was amazed with Feduccia.  I was waiting for him to put his fingers in
>his ears and start shouting "I can't hear you".  He said that he could see
>no use for feathers as insulation?  Feathers would be overkill if they were
>for insulation?  Does he think they just appeared on a protobird, intact,
>out of the blue?  Does he not believe in evolutionary steps?  Does he think
>that the link from (whatever he thinks) to birds has to be linear, with no
>offshoots along the line?  I wished they would have had him try to do more
>explaining and less poo-pooing.  Especially in the light of the three
>specimens they showed.
I think you're missing the point.  Not all feathers serve an insulatory
function.  In modern birds insulatory feathers are down feathers, not
flight/contour feathers.  Down feathers are highly derived feathers.  The
feathers from which down feathers are derived functioned in flight, not
insulation.  This is part of the evidence that (in birds) powered flight
evolved well before endothermy.  There is a logical evolutionary progression
from scales (in ectothemic avian ancestors) to flight/contour feathers (in
ectothermic early birds) and finally to downy feathers (in later, enothermic
[ornithurine] birds).  In order to have insulatory feathers in the earliest
birds they would have to appear intact out of the blue!!!

>Darryl <dinoguy@interlog.com
>Visit my webpage at:
>"He who wears glasses looks better than he who drinks
>too many"
>       Confucius
    Terry D. Jones                             Voice:  541/737-6120     
    Oregon State University              Fax:      541/737-0501          
    Dept. of Zoology                         JONEST@bcc.orst.edu
    3029 Cordley Hall
    Corvallis, OR  97331-2914