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Re: "real' feather

Alan, et al:

    My comment concerning REAL feathers was in comparison with the so-called
PROTO-FEATHERS of _Sinosauropteryx_.  As I currently understand it, it has
not been officially decided that they are feathers, as opposed to some other
structures.  I believe that they are feathers, but as you know, there is no
consensus on this (yet).

    I agree with your analysis/belief that the morphological differences are
truly small and probably simply produced.

        Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Brush <brush@uconnvm.uconn.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Tuesday, October 06, 1998 5:28 PM
Subject: "real' feather

>I can't help thinking than any epidermal structure that consists of the
feather (phi) type keratin, and is produced in a follicle, is a feather.
There are morphologically many types of feathers, and different feather
generation. So down (both natal and adult), semiplumes, remises, contour
feathers, bristles,are all 'real' feathers.
>I find the discussion regarding the presence of real feathers as opposed to
something else (not real?) feathers, difficult to comprehend.Clearly, the
morphology is related to functional differences. No question they are
important; but they are all real feathers. Personally, I believe the
morphological differences among feather and the even smaller, but perhaps
equally important, differences in shape, are very simply produced. The
latter is simply a matter of differential growth periods.The former may be
nothing more complicated than the number of developmental repeates and
fusion steps.
>Alan H. Brush
>92 High St.
>Mystic, CT 06355