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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
>-- 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
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