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Re: If Dinosaurs Could Fly

Derek Tearne wrote:

> Kiwi feathers are pretty good insulators even though they are not
> 'downy' at all, more like long thick hairs with a bad case of split
> ends than down.  Animal hairs serve well as insulation without the
> need for them to be fluffy like down.  Perhaps the original proto
> feather was indeed some kind of thick hair used for insulation.

Animal hair best suited to insulation is thin and floppy and covers the anmal
more thickly than non-insulating hairs (it's smaller at the base, for one thing)
This retains body heat trapped in individual air pockets.  We all know that.

How could birds develop a floppy downy feather first?  Doesn't this type of
feather have signs of a stiff quill in it's get-up.  Wouldn't this be more
indicative (like Toby White suggested) of a quill forming first?

What portion of a scale is equivalent to a quill structure?

-Betty Cunningham