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Re: Origin of feathers



Patrick Norton Wrote:

>Intuitively I like the idea of a feathered Oviraptor, for a number of
>reasons; and the feathers really do seem to "fit" quite well in the
>illustration I've seen. But I can't buy it on the arguments I've heard so
>far. I've even searched the literature and talked to a couple
>ornithologists in a futile effort to find an example of a modern bird
>that uses its wing feathers to incubate eggs. No luck. If Oviraptor
>really was a "wing incubator", it was exhibiting an apparently novel
>behavior.

Remember that to Oviraptor on the nest fossil is _not_ necessarily a
snapshot of normal behavior. The animal was apparently caught in a
landslide and may have been reacting in panic, that is, responding to an
event it did not recognize in the first way that "came to mind." The
landslide could have triggered the "protect the nestlings" response, or a
"protect the eggs against a hailstorm" response. -- Jeff Hecht