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John Bois wrote:

>> I am still curious to hear why this is so when all other ratites (tinamous
>> excepted) have greatly reduced wings unsuitable for brooding.
>One possibility might be that the enlarged area available for brooding--in
>ostriches this excess brooding area allows for a surplus of eggs to be
>placed in the major hen's nest--made feather-brooding unneeccessary.
>Small birds may indeed need extra insulation that large ratites did not.

Except that wing-brooding presumably serves a different function (shelter,
etc) from brooding with the heat of the body via the brood patch, so the
two are not equivalent.  

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@home.com