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Re: skin decoration Vs feather decoration in predatory archosaurs



The King vulture, (if I'm not mistaken) has a very colorful head with
red, orange, yellow, black and even blue or purple.  This is all skin
color though as the feathers are white, black and a blue-grey.  All in
all it is a pretty gaudy bird.  Also most of the small raptors make up
for not having many colors by having rather bold patterns on the wings,
breast and tail.

K. Capach

Martin Barnett wrote:

>  Following the recent on-list debate surrounding the colouration and
> function of speculated dinosaur plumage, I've taken to looking at my
> tatty old book on some european birds of prey.  I noticed that all the
> birds' feathers (with the possible exception of Pernis aviporus, the
> honey buzzard) were of the following colours:1.    Black2.
> White3.    Grey-scale4.    Anywhere within the brown spectrum between
> peach and terra-cottaThese are not exactly vivid colours.  It was
> interesting to note that any with bright colour had it in their eyes
> or on their skin, not their plumage(specifically their feet and
> cere).  The following colours were noted on the skin:1.    Yellow -
> most common.  Token example Accipiter nissus (sparrowhawk)2.    Pink -
> ranges from subtle human skin colour with Gyps fulvus (griffon
> vulture) to more "mother-of-the-bride" shades, ie, Falco vespertinus
> (red-footed falcon)3.    Grey - not the brightest of things to be
> sure.  Found in Elanoides forficatus (swallow-tailed kite) among
> others.4.    Orange? - Neophron percnoterus (Egyptian vulture) picture
> is a little unclear, could be a solarised yellow.5.    Blue! - the
> cere of Aegypius monachus (European Black vulture).  I also recall
> (from memory, so beware!) seeing a raptor with blue feet. In addition
> to these observations, I remember red skin and I think purple? in a
> couple of other raptors (anyone have any ideas what these were?  is
> there a predatory bird expert in the house?).  So, the overall trend
> with at least modern feathered archosaurs is for camouflage colours
> using pattern for display on the plumage and actual vivid colours when
> present on the skin.     Bearing in mind the hand of speculation is
> looming large, and heeding the cautions about using modern animals to
> compare to ancient ones - does this bode well at all for more
> colourful featherless theropods? (picture if you will a Daspletosaurus
> with blue legs) Sam