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Re: "Feathery fossil shows birds aren't dinosaurs"



Rob Gay wrote:
> 
> And on feathers and dinosaurs, the other day, there was some discusion about
> early birds not wanting to potentialy damage their primary flight feathers
> by climbing. Well, I was watching Animal Planet the other day on TV, and
> there was a special about big cats. At the point that I tuned in, the
> vultures were just moving in on the carcass. What interested me, though, was
> that these birds, leaping and biting on the carcass, seemed not too
> concerned with their feathers. In some cases, vultures were actually
> standing on vultures, and biting at each other.

Vultures aren't exactly the most aerodynamic of birds to begin with. I'm
guessing a humming bird or a wandering albatross wouldn't be quite so
care free. Plus, vultures are scavengers that have to fight to get
access to a carcass. What's the slight risk of irepairable feather
damage to the certainty of starvation? Also, did they have their wings
folded tightly against their bodies while they were prancing and
cavorting? In which case, perhaps the most important flight feathers
were protected well enough to risk a bit of rough housing.

Please take this post with a grain of salt (or excess sulphur?). Just
playing Devil's advocate.

-- 
____________________________________________
        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs:
        http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
        http://www.geocities.com/dannj.geo
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