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Re: Origin of Feathers
A while ago I wrote:
>>Modern brooding birds protect their eggs from the sun (and the cold)
with fluffed up body feathers.<<
To which Dan Pigdon recently replied:
>Some raptors (the extant variety that is) will use out-stretched wings
to shade young chicks from the sun. It can be hard to get a bunch
of squirming youngsters nestled beneath the down feathers.<
I agree with Dan's statement, but my comment addressed eggs, not chicks.
There are the many examples of modern birds that use wing feathers to
cover or shield chicks. And if the Oviraptor fossil showed evidence of
chicks, such analogies would be more relevant.
It seems to me that it's equally--or perhaps more--plausable that the
death position of the Oviraptor can be explained by other factors.
Perhaps the sand/water slide pushed the creature flat, or perhaps the
body slumped forward after death. Such things do happen. For example, the
type specimen of _Psitticosaurus mongoliensis_ is preserved in a similar
pose--flat on its stomach, head and neck extended forward with its arms
at its side, held somewhat away from its body.