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Re: If Dinosaurs Could Fly

At 08:17 AM 1/20/98 -0600, Toby White wrote:
>Would down be maladaptive if water-shedding flight feathers evolved 

I presume you mean contour feathers?

The *flight* feathers per se are rather useless for insulation, as they
cover almost nothing.

[The flight feathers are the ones forming a single line on the trailing
edge of the arm and the posterior portion of the tail; the contour feathers
are all of the other externally visible feathers on a modern adult bird].

And, contour feathers really *are* insulating.  What birds have is more
like a rain-proofed trenchcoat and longjohns.

May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com