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Re: Origin of Feathers



Ralph Miller III wrote:
<Maybe fluffy ostrich-like feathers lacking interlocking barbules on the 
arms would function for brooding without getting in the way of predation 
(or whatever _Oviraptor_ was doing), although they would potentially get 
very messy!>

  Indeed. Many birds solve this by endless preening of their plumes or 
long feathers, and I imagine beaked oviraptors would have no problem 
doing this.

I wrote before Ralph's reply:
<<... Being flightless, dromaeosaurs and oviraptorosaurs, and even 
ornitholestids and compsognathids would hav had feathers...>>

  I'd just like to add, in the case of the last two, it would actually 
have been more likely these would have had the protofeather-type rather 
than full-blown feathers, for each were the most primitive members of 
the Maniraptoriformes as we presently regard it (this is in response to 
BCF and *Protoavis* implications).

<<... As for small therizinosaurs and ornithomimids, and troodontids, 
and perhaps the smaller tyrannosaurs (aublysodonts, and/or 
*Siamotyrannus*...>>

  I would like to interject here again to say that all the above-listed 
taxa are coelurosaurs, defined as closer to birds than Carnosaurs, and 
by extension, non-Tetanuran theropods, etc.... "Feathers" as a non-avian 
feature have appeared as early as *Sinosauropteryx*, a very basal 
coelurosaur, so it is as likely that all following taxa could have 
possessed feathers or feather-like integument. [end posturing]

<Why stop there? Don't you find fuzzy little hadrosaur chicks 
appealing?>

  I understand you meant this as a joke, but I've actually considered 
it, and though I've discarded the idea as very likely, and as 
ornithschians are quite well separated from avian evolution, it _does_ 
have it's appeal, and I almost drew a downy maiasaur chick (I still 
might!) and Greg Paul has drawn dryosaurs with feathers or such similar 
covering.

Jaime A. Headden

"You know, humans do a good job of torturing themselves without our 
help."
                -- a devil, 'Millenium'

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