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Re: protofeathers

 And as I understand Alan, there may have been proto- forms of all the 
>different feather morphologies, not just one that gave rise to all the 
>others. Amen.
>-- Tom Hopp

As I understood him, I think he meant something else - namely that you
cannot, based on current knowledge, put the known types of feathers into an
evolutionary hierarchy such that down, for example, is more "primitive"
than contour feathers; further, as the thing that evolved first was a
feather-producing mechanism with sufficient flexibility to produce a wide
variety of feather types from the get-go, the question (and thus the
distinction between feathers and "protofeathers") may not mean much.  Alan?

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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