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Re: MY THOUGHTS ON THE 'DINO/BIRDS'
>It was also mentioned that feathers "must have evolved for insulation"
>(paraphrasing). From what I have seen so far, the feathers of
>Protarchaeopteryx and Caudipteryx seem to be for aerodynamics. They
>cannot be for steering during cursorial activities (as suggested by
>Padian 1997) because of the drag involved. The aerodynamics were
I find this highly unlikely, and I am not sure on what you base it. Surely
Caudipteryx at least, with its long legs and shortened forearms (at least
compared to Protarchaeopteryx) seems a most unlikely glider. I would have
thought the most obvious use for the tail fan at least was display, though
suggested in an earlier post I can imagine (based on no analysis whatever) it
making short, fluttering leaps - again, perhaps, in display.
This highlights one of the bugbears I have argued about repeatedly here - the
assumption that gliding is THE intermediate stage between full powered flight
and flightlessness. There is no reason for this to be so, especially in a
cursorial form - fluttering as an assist to a leap could, in my view, do just
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org