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Re: Archaeopteryx feathers

In a message dated 5/29/99 10:55:13 PM, gbabcock@best.com writes:

<< One would expect a protofeather to be simpler than the remiges of a modern 
bird, which represent a derived state.   >>

Why?  It MIGHT seem reasonable to expect "proto" feathers to have had a 
simpler branching pattern than flight feathers, but if the original purpose 
of these lightweight scale extensions was something we have not yet guessed 
at, then your "simple-to-complex" logic may be faulty.  A need for 
lightweight extensions of scales might have resulted in a direct evolution of 
the flat, interwoven structure characteristic of modern flight feathers.

Tom Hopp