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Re: tail fans

Ron Orenstein said:

>Well, if the rumours I heard at the Ostrom Symposium are true, we may find
out before long <

Sure wish I could have attended.  But the Maine Legislature needed my help
deciding if the Chesuncook soil series should be named as the State

>Unless I am much mistaken we are still not sure what they used this
modified tail for - if it was in any way used as a weapon, for example (and
I am not suggesting it was!), a tail fan might have been counterproductive.<

As Ostrom pointed out long ago, the stiffened tail could have functioned as
a counterbalance for a quick, agile predator. A stiff tail that was
feathered--particularly if the feathers formed a "fan"--would introduce an
aerodynamic component into the discussion.  An aerodynamic component to the
tail of a feathered dromaeosaur would be particularly important if the
animal engaged in leaping or jumping during predation or display.