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Re: If Dinosaurs Could Fly

Matthew Troutman wrote:

>      First of all, let me point out that I did not mean that down ( as a
> whole) is maladaptive. Only as a >single< insulatory pelage in wet
> conditions. Juvenile birds when they do not have sufficient shelter
> (parent, nest, coop, etc) are incredibly susceptible to dying of
> hypothermia (this applies to when they only have down). You ever see a
> downy wet bird? Its pretty messy because the feathers are all mucky.
> Down is very very good insulation when is covered by other feathers and
> the bird can stay very warm if it is aquatic, semi-aquatic, living in
> wet conditions (ducks for example). And I do agree that predators and
> learning to fly are factors in juvenile mortality, but no more than wet
> down.

What do downy penguin chicks do to survive the cold other than eat a
lot, sit on cold rocks, and huddle under wet parents?

-Betty Cunningham