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Re: protofeathers

Message text written by INTERNET:TomHopp@aol.com
>Couldn't a single barb growing continuously just as easily be termed a
not a feather? Isn't there a major distinction between these two structures

based on the branching nature of a feather? What drives the branching? A 
"branching" gene(s), of course, but when did it (they) arise? Before or
feathers got long?<

        Feathers and hair are not the same dermal structure and cannot be
compared this way.  They have completely different developmental
processess.  I'll point you to a post I did on this last year in the


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                     Jerry D. Harris
                 Fossil Preparation Lab
          New Mexico Museum of Natural History
                   1801 Mountain Rd NW
               Albuquerque  NM  87104-1375
                 Phone:  (505) 841-2809
                  Fax:  (505) 841-2866