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Re: Origin of feathers

Jeff Hecht wrote:
<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.>

  How then, would *Oviraptor* have covered the laterally lying eggs? If 
contact occured between dino and egg as seen within the nest, then did 
this mean the eggs were exposed, or was the contact accidental? If 
exposed, the eggs would have fried within their shells. Not very 
productive to survival of the species, when one lays extra eggs just to 
boil them. Now, if not exposed, can we think of a bird that sits on a 
nest of buried eggs? The cassowary builds a mound, and occasionally sits 
on it, but this mound has the eggs far below the surface, and as far as 
we can tell, any pre-sandslide covering the eggs would ahve had would 
have been thin.

  Now then, what about the likelyhood of the animal having died when 
laying eggs? This would explain the prescence during the slide (a bird 
will stay on her nest if she's laying, for suddenly the nest's survival 
outways hers; this does not apply to all birds, but gannets and boobies, 
to my understanding, will do it, and penguins evolved to survive while 
caring for the egg solely, and so on).


  I'll admit that I am overly fascinated with the idea of a feathered 
*Oviraptor*, and that may have clouded my attitude with their "arm 
feather/no arm feather" debate. But, I don't think they weren't 
feathered, so I prepared a proper diagnosis, point by point analysis of 
un-feathered and feathered oviraptors, with the feathers coming in three 
varieties: short arm feathers, long arm feathers, and plumed feathers, 
both brachial and corpal (lateral, as Dinogeorge proposed) and I see 
that of the four, the idea of the incubator would actually be best 
explain by the Ovi's with longer brachial feathers, but the analysis 
lacks the touch ups, and will be presented soon.

Jaime A. Headden

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